Welcome to a college wrestling tournament like none other.
For the first time in history, the NCAA wrestling national championships will be held in an NFL stadium and will be expected to draw more than 40,000 fans for each of the six sessions. The University of Minnesota will host the tournament at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and will open up the championship experience to a broader base.
Take a look at the mat layout below:
Action will, as usual, take place across eight mats during the first three sessions. The fourth session will feature six mats arranged in a "dog-bone" structure with two mats on each side and two in the middle, and the fifth session will include three middle. On Saturday night, in the sixth and final session, two athletes from each weight class will run out of the green and red tunnels onto the elevated stage in the middle of the field under the bright lights for a championship experience to remember.
Full schedule of the tournament is listed below:
|2020 DI WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE|
|THURSDAY, MARCH 19|
|9:30 a.m.||Gates open||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|11 a.m.||Session I||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|4:30 a.m.||Gates open||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|6 p.m.||Session II||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|FRIDAY, MARCH 20|
|8:30 a.m.||Gates Open||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|10 a.m.||Session III||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|1 - 6 p.m.||NCAA Wrestling Fan Festival Open||The Armory|
|5:30 p.m.||Gates open||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|7 p.m.||Session IV||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|SATURDAY, MARCH 21|
|8:30 a.m.||Gates open||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|10 a.m.||Session V||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|Noon - 5:30 p.m.||NCAA Wrestling Fan Festival Open||The Armory|
|4:30 p.m.||Gates open||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|5:35 p.m.||Parade of All-Americans||U.S. Bank Stadium|
|6 p.m.||Session VI||U.S. Bank Stadium|
*All times are local, central. All times, events, and locations are subject to change.
Single-session tickets are available to the public for the first time in recent NCAA Wrestling Championships history, including locations in the lower level of U.S. Bank Stadium. For more championship information or to buy tickets go to NCAA.com/Wrestling. https://www.ncaa.com/championships/wrestling/d1
UNDERSTANDING THE TOURNAMENT: How the 2020 NCAA wrestling tournament works
Listen to Anthony Holman talk about how the idea of the championship developed and transitioned into the current model:
The bid to host the championship in U.S. Bank Stadium was unique, according to the University of Minnesota coaches and administrators, but the reward is that the arena and tournament reach will help grow the sport long term.
"What this venue allows us to do is sell to the entire general public, and we're going to well exceed the capacity of any arena in this country, and we're going to be able to have fans who traditionally have not had access to this tournament be able to experience it," Tom McGinnis, senior associate athletic director, University of Minnesota, said.
The stadium will enhance the experience for student-athletes, as there will be more practice space, more and larger locker rooms, additional areas for student-athletes to rest and recover between matches. The floor will cover 98,570 square feet, and the larger venue provides the opportunity to spread out mats providing optimal competition space for wrestlers. Photographers will have better access to mats to capture action shots. The fans will enjoy more entry points, more rest rooms and concession locations. There will also be over 2,200 digital screens / televisions at the stadium as well as free public WiFi.
Just like every year, ten champions will be crowned on the national stage. This time, though, they will experience that thrill in front of more fans than ever before.