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State wrestling, basketball to stay at Wells Fargo Arena

Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control approved contracts through 2025 to keep the state wrestling tournaments and state basketball tournament inside Wells Fargo Arena.

The contract locks up the two most attended events in Des Moines for the IHSAA, and will include options to renew after 2025 for a chance to take the contract through 2030.

“We are excited to extend our agreement with the Iowa Events Center to host our state wrestling and basketball championships at Wells Fargo Arena,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said. “This extension allows our student-athletes to continue to experience the thrill of state tournament competition in a first-class venue. This terrific facility, paired with the hospitality our fans and teams are shown by the Des Moines metro business community, is a winning combination.”

The traditional wrestling tournament has been in the state capital every year since 1972, and basketball has every year since 1963. Both events moved to Wells Fargo Arena upon opening in 2006.

“High school athletics are a tremendous source of pride for Iowa communities and we are proud to work with Tom and the IHSAA to keep the state wrestling and basketball championships in Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena,” said Spectra’s Chris Connolly, general manager of Wells Fargo Arena. “We are excited to work in conjunction with the IHSAA to provide all participants, support staff, and fans with an unmatched state tournament experience well into the future.”

State wrestling currently has four contracted dates, including one day for duals and three for the traditional tournament.

State basketball’s schedule is five days since the IHSAA made the shift away from a six-day format in 2018.

“This is fantastic news for our metro,” Catch Des Moines CEO and president Greg Edwards said. “The IHSAA has a long history in bringing two of its largest events to our capital city. The IHSAA state wrestling championships continue to lead the country in attendance, and the boys’ basketball tournament has a great impact too. Both of these events generate huge economic benefits to our Iowa Events Center and so many local businesses.

“We are grateful for their continued support,” added Edwards.

The IHSAA is concluded the state basketball tournament last Friday with attendance restrictions at Wells Fargo Arena.

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