High school wrestlers across the state have one more week to prepare for competition at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Wrestling Individual State Championships, February 14–16, 2019. 672 wrestlers from 263 high schools will compete this week at the State Farm Center, with hopes to make it under the spotlight for the championship match.
“One of my favorite weekends of the year is when we host the IHSA Individual State Wrestling Finals,” states Ryan Reid, Director of Sports and Special Events for Visit Champaign County. “The energy in the State Farm Center throughout the tournament is contagious as we engage with the families and fans who have supported this athletes throughout the season.”
“The IHSA is excited to have our State Finals in Champaign this weekend and to partner with area businesses to make the event successful,” explains Sam Knox, IHSA Assistant Executive Director. “The kids have put in a tremendous amount of effort and are looking forward to competing for the championship in their weight class.”
The matches, featuring fourteen weight classes across three divisions, kick off at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 14 and run through Saturday evening. “This format provides our hotels with a minimum of two overnight stays for athletes, creating a significant impact to the community,” explains Reid.
The tournament has been held at the State Farm Center for nearly 50 years. With a total attendance of nearly 40,000 anticipated for the weekend, and multiple room nights in local accommodations, Visit Champaign County estimates a $5.5 million economic impact to the area for hosting the event. “This is a significant revenue generator for the greater Champaign County area,” explains Jayne DeLuce, President & CEO of Visit Champaign County. “Continuing to host this event in our community is essential to area hotels, restaurants, shops and so many other local businesses. It is important that our community continues to support these efforts by providing our guests with a memorable, authentic experience.”
Tickets to the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament range from $8-$10 per session or $40-$50 for a season ticket. Various weight classes from 1A, 2A and 3A schools begin at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, 8:30 a.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. Tickets are available through the Illinois Ticket Office at statefarmcenter.com or by calling 1-866-ILLINI-1.
Visit Champaign County will be located in the West Grand Entrance, providing a warm welcome to guests with community information, area discounts and prizes to win.
For more information on IHSA Wrestling, visit www.ihsa.org.