Wrestlers Ready for the Spotlight at the IHSA State Wrestling Championships

Come February, high school wrestlers across the state work hard to make weight and defeat their opponents for a chance to compete at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Wrestling Individual State Championships, February19-21, 2015. In 2015, over 670 wrestlers will compete at the State Farm Center, with hopes to make it under the spotlight for the championship match. 

“IHSA Wrestling continues to be one of the most exciting sports events we are privileged to host,” states Cory Hatfield, Sales and Sports Director for Visit Champaign County. “These athletes work hard all season for a chance to wrestle on the mats here at the University of Illinois. You can sense the excitement from them as well as their friends and family who make the trip to Champaign County for at least two days to cheer them on.” 

As in 2014, the matches will start one day earlier, with the event kicking off at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 19 and will run through Saturday evening. “The earlier start time brings teams and fans Wednesday, providing our hotels with one more room night on this busy weekend,” explains Hatfield. 

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. “The impact generated from an event like IHSA Wrestling goes far beyond room nights,” explains Jayne DeLuce, President & CEO of Visit Champaign County. “Teams and families are in our community for at least two days, requiring meals and additional activities throughout their stay. Our restaurants are overrun with high school boys following the matches they finally can indulge without worrying about making weight.” 

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 hosts a community welcome booth at the event, distributing coupons for area restaurants, shops and attractions. 

For more information on IHSA Wrestling, visit www.ihsa.org.

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