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    Ranking host sites for NCAAs in 2019-2022

    In 2018, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships moves to Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena. On Tuesday, the NCAA announced the host sites for the following four tournaments in 2019-2022. The annual event has been getting more and more attention over the last few seasons and setting records along the way. The most recent edition reached 8.6 million people on television via the ESPN family of networks, which was a six percent increase over the previous tournament. That momentum is likely to continue all the way through the 2022 season. The upcoming sites are all interesting in their own way, but which is the best?

    U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016

    No. 1 Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Bank Stadium -- March 19-21, 2020

    U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016. You may recall that the NFL's Vikings were in desperate need of a stadium after the roof caved in and caused a pretty incredible avalanche. It will feature the Super Bowl in 2018 and the Final Four in 2019 before wrestling takes the field in 2020. Despite being a traditional wrestling hotbed, that state of Minnesota has only hosted one tournament. In 1996 at Target Center, the Iowa Hawkeyes won 16th title over runner-up Iowa State. Les Gutches won the 177-pound title for Oregon State and took home Outstanding Wrestler honors.

    The stadium's capacity is expandable up to 70,000, but as Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Minnesota Tom McGinnis told Jason Bryant on The Guillotine Grapevine podcast, they will look to accommodate at least 20,000 seats just in the first two levels of the stadium based on the initial layout, and then make it a positive experience for those sitting in the upper level seats. This tournament will almost certainly shatter all attendance records for the event. Over the past two seasons, there have been high profile wrestling matches in football stadiums. In the 2014-2015 season, Iowa hosted Oklahoma State at the "Grapple on the Gridiron" and set the dual meet attendance record with 42,287 fans. This past season, Rutgers and Princeton faced off in the "Battle at the Birthplace" with 16,178 in attendance. The NCAA final at U.S. Bank Stadium has the potential to top both events.

    No. 2 Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars Arena -- March 17-19, 2022

    The new arena is set to open this September with a six-night concert series from Detroit native Kid Rock. It will then become home to the Red Wings of the NHL and the Pistons of the NBA next winter. The Pistons have not regularly played inside the Detroit city limits since 1978. The arena is part of a $1.2 billion restoration project that will also bring residential and retail locations to downtown Detroit. Michigan, the host team, and Eastern Michigan are both within 50 miles of the arena.

    The state of Michigan has only hosted the tournament once since 1942 when the 2007 edition took place at The Palace of Auburn Hills. That year Minnesota won the team title with only one individual champion, heavyweight Cole Konrad.

    No. 3 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, PPG Paints Arena -- March 21-23, 2019

    In 2010, Duquesne dropped its wrestling program, but the 35-mile radius around the PPG Paints Arena still includes programs at Division I (Pittsburgh), Division II (Seton Hill), Division III (Washington & Jefferson) and lower levels (PSU New Kensington, Beaver and Greater Allegheny). The arena currently serves as the home of the Penguins of the NHL.

    Per ESPN, their coverage of the 2017 NCAA finals earned the second-highest local rating in the Pittsburgh market (1.4). That rating was only a shade behind the top rated market Columbus, which earned a 1.6. The city has not hosted the tournament since 1957. That year, the host Panthers finished second behind Oklahoma on their home campus at the Fitzgerald Field House.

    Pittsburgh will once again be the host team in 2019. Newly hired coach and alumnus Keith Gavin can pitch new recruits on the prospect of wrestling for an NCAA title only a 10-minute drive from campus.

    The NCAAs have been held at the Scottrade Center five of the last 10 years (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    No. 4 St. Louis, Missouri, Scottrade Center -- March 18-20, 2021

    The Scottrade Center has hosted five of the last 10 tournaments and eight times overall. This year's tournament sold 111,454 tickets over the three-day event and 19,657 fans were in the building for the finals. The finals were the second most attended finals ever behind the 2015 edition of the tournament, which also took place at the Scottrade Center. The arena and the city have always been great hosts for the wrestling community, but it can't hurt to branch out into new territory.

    Iowa leads the way with three titles in the arena. Oklahoma State and Penn State have both won two titles in the building. In 2015, Ohio State won their only championship at the Scottrade Center.

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