Columbus Bids on U.S. Olympic Wrestling and Weightlifting TrialsDec 01
Columbus is proud to be one of seven cities that bid on the 2012 Olympic Trials for Wrestling & Weightlifting along with Council Bluffs (IA), Greensboro (NC), Hampton (VA), Iowa City (IA), Oklahoma City (OK) and Pontiac (MI). We are excited to potentially host this event in partnership with the 19,700-seat Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center with target date for the event being the weekend of April 20-21, 2012.
I feel that the best thing about our bid to USA Wrestling is Columbus presents such a convergence of factors that would set this event up to be a great success, such as:
- Columbus is in the “sweet spot” of wrestling with Ohio and Pennsylvania being such wrestling and weightlifting hotbeds (more on Ohio’s wrestling heritage in a later blog).
- Geographically, we are in the center of the country and USAW would be in good hands with Columbus being the 16th largest city, but still having the feeling of being a “college town”. That would be tremendous for this type of event in regards to athletic facilities, hotels, amenities and things to do.
- Ohio is highly regarded in the wrestling world and at Columbus’ core, wrestling and weightlifting is a marquee event, shown by the Arnold Festival and Ohio High School athletic tournaments.
- With a local fanbase that strong for wrestling and weightlifting, the Olympic Trials would be well attended as historically, 88% of the national fanbase for this event attends regardless of location.
Some other things of note:
- Value City Arena has more than enough room on the main arena floor for the required raised wrestling mats and weightlifting positions, but in addition the arena has a 15,000-foot auxiliary gym is available for athlete warm-up areas.
- Columbus has long hosted the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships, considered one of the most competitive and successful state tournaments in the nation. Hosted at Value City Arena, the 2010 State Wrestling Championships drew 64,617 fans over five sessions, including 14,886 for the finals.
Finally, the timeline for learning if Columbus is one of the three to four finalists is December 20th. After that, the Sports Commission will travel to Colorado Springs on Jan. 11th for presentations with a decision perhaps by the end of January. – LL