NCAA Wrestling Championships Will Have Economic, Community Impact On Tulsa

Wednesday, October 14th 2020, 9:29 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa was selected Wednesday to host the NCAA men's national wrestling championships in 2023.

It will be the first time Tulsa's hosted the championships.

Tulsa came out on top among the more than 3,000 bid applications that were submitted. City leaders said the announcement was a very welcome surprise.

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In the spring of 2023, thousands of wrestlers, their families, and those who love watching the sport, will pack the BOK Center. City leaders said the news Tulsa will be hosting the NCAA Men's National Wrestling Championships is a testament to the community.

Ray Hoyt is the president of Tulsa Regional Tourism.

"The cool thing is when you look at who's hosted this, Philadelphia, St. Louis, when we're in that realm, I always feel like we're punching above our weight class, or wrestling above our weight class," Hoyt said.

He said hosting the tournament at the BOK Center will likely have a $17 million economic impact on the region.

"When you think about the economic impacts of sport to our community, it's right up there with music, and the other things, so I think it's just important we understand that," Hoyt said.

OSU Wrestling Head Coach John Smith said it's an even bigger deal for the players and their families.

"Especially a lot of our kids being from Oklahoma, that's special, they've grown up always wanting to wrestle in an NCAA championship, and guess what, they're going to get to wrestle in one in their home state," Smith said.

Hoyt credits their success with Tulsa hosting the Big 12 Conference Wrestling championships four times to landing another event like this.

"We've spent the last five years doing just that, building those relationships, building success, and proving that we could host a national level tournament," Hoyt said.

OSU Head Coach John Smith said their work to prepare for 2023's championship is already underway.