The 2022 and 2023 Men’s and Women’s Freestyle World Cup wrestling events are coming to Xtream Arena, announced USA Wrestling on Thursday. It is the first time in history the men’s and women’s event will be held side-by-side, and the first time the United States has ever hosted the Women’s World Cup.
The 2022 competition will be held Dec. 10-11 and the 2023 competition is set for Dec. 9-10.
“USA Wrestling is excited to once again bring one of the most important wrestling competitions on the planet to the Coralville/Iowa City community, which is truly an international wrestling hotbed,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender in a statement.
It is the second time the Men’s Freestyle World Cup will be held in the Iowa City area, as the 2018 World Cup was hosted at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the University of Iowa campus. Coralville will become the 10th U.S. city to host the Freestyle World Cup.
“I can’t think of a better place to host these events than in the state of Iowa, and in the Iowa City/Coralville community,” said Terry Steiner, a USA Wrestling national team coach. “I know that this community appreciates great wrestling. They are in for a spectacular event, with the best teams in the world battling for World dual meet titles.”
Both events feature the top five wrestling teams in the world, plus an all-world team. All-world teams are comprised of athletes whose teams finish outside the top five in the team race at the World Championships.
Since opening in September 2020, USA Wrestling has hosted the 2020 Senior Nationals, the 2021 UWW Junior and Senior Nationals, the 2021 High School National Recruiting Showcase and the Girls Folkstyle Nationals.
Think Iowa City and the Iowa City Area Sports Commission will put on the event.
“The Iowa City Area Sports Commission has made significant investments into girls and women’s wrestling this past decade,” explained Josh Schamberger, president of Think Iowa City. “In so many ways, this combined World Cup is an extension of this effort. This inaugural Men’s and Women’s Freestyle World Cup will reverberate across the wrestling globe. We couldn’t be more honored to be the community chosen to set the bar for how this event should look and run for decades to come. And quite honestly, we aim for that bar to actually never be reached outside of Iowa City.”
Mr. Schamberger and Luke Eustice, director of the Iowa City Area Sports Commission, previously travelled to United World Wrestling headquarters to pitch the idea of combining the Men’s and Women’s World Cups, according to the news release. The plan was put on hold following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ticket packages go on sale the morning of Feb. 4. Seating capacity will be approximately 5,300 fans.