Cleveland, Ohio -- The NCAA has announced today that the Mid-American Conference and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will serve as hosts for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. The tournament will take place at Quicken Loans Arena on March 15-17, 2018.
This will mark the first time the MAC will host the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The MAC will also host the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Regional in Cleveland on March 26 and 28, 2015, which was previously announced this year.
The upcoming 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Regional will mark the third and fourth events that Quicken Loans Arena will host. Previously, the facility hosted NCAA Division I Championship events including the 2007 Division I Women's Basketball Final Four as well as the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Second & Third Rounds.
"Today's announcement for the award of the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships coming to Cleveland and Quicken Loans Arena is another example of the faith and trust the NCAA has in the Mid-American Conference and in Cleveland," said Jon Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference. "The MAC and our partners are committed to hosting a premiere championship event and to showcase our wonderful facilities and vibrant city. We look forward to hosting the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in 2018 at The Q."
"Securing this championship was a priority for the Conference office," added Steinbrecher. "Wrestling is a very important sport and we expect this will assist us in placing a spotlight on the very fine wrestling in the Mid-American Conference. The MAC is proud of its long-standing and strong partnership with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Quicken Loans Arena. It is through these collaborative efforts that we can attract and host these major events."
Quicken Loans Arena and the MAC have a long-standing working relationship. For 15 years, The Q has served as the host venue for the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament (since 2000) and the MAC Women's Basketball Tournament (since 2001). The Men's Basketball Tournament at the Q is the third longest running neutral site men's tournament in the nation.
"The opportunity to host one of the NCAA's signature championship is an exciting and impactful development," Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President and CEO David Gilbert said. "The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will infuse an estimated $15 to 20 million of economic activity into Greater Cleveland and showcase Cleveland's vibrant downtown to tens of thousands of athletes, fans, parents and coaches. This is a significant announcement in the continued quest to make Cleveland the premier destination for sporting events in the country."
Wrestling is one of 23 championships sponsored by the MAC. Last season in wrestling, the MAC witnessed a Conference-best 11 All-Americans and 40 wrestlers seeded in the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
"We're proud and excited to be the host venue for prestiges and impactful events like this that bring the focus and attention of the entire nation to Cleveland," said Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena President Len Komoroski. "We're even prouder that Quicken Loans Arena has earned the confidence of the NCAA and our great local partners like the MAC and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. This kind of teamwork is what makes Cleveland such a great place for premier events. We look forward to all of our guests and competitors having the kind of experience that amazes them and brings them back to Cleveland in the future!"
Six MAC full-members participate in wrestling including: The University at Buffalo, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Kent State University, Northern Illinois University and Ohio University. In addition, the MAC has three affiliate members in wrestling -- the University of Missouri, University of Northern Iowa and Old Dominion University.
Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of ten members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in six (6) states – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio. In addition a 13th school – the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass.-- is an affiliate member for football only.
Current MAC schools that hold full membership and the year they joined are -- East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947). UMass (2012) competes in the East Division in football only. The conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission prides itself on being one of the most distinguished Sports Commissions in the country, effectively leveraging sports events and activities to further economic development in Northeast Ohio. The philosophy of the Sports Commission sets it apart from others by operating as an economic and community development organization utilizing sports as a vehicle to forward other community agendas. The organization takes the unique approach of becoming a management and financial partner in each event with the goal of producing events that are more successful in Cleveland than other cities in which they have been held. Since 2000, the Sports Commission has been responsible for attracting over 135 sporting events, contributing to more than $395 million in economic activity. For more information, visit www.clevelandsports.org.
Quicken Loans Arena
Northeast Ohio's premier sports and entertainment destination, Quicken Loans Arena, also known as The Q, is home to the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters, the Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators and host to the best entertainment in the region. Each year "The Q" welcomes close to two million people at 200-plus events that include Cavaliers basketball, Monsters hockey, world-class concerts, family shows and signature sporting events like the Mid-American Conference's (MAC) men's and women's post-season basketball tournaments. The Q recently played host to the second and third rounds of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championships and has also hosted the NBA All-Star game, the NCAA Women's Final Four and the United States Figure Skating Championships.