Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Illifornia

Where is Wrestling actually popular?

Recommended Posts

Ok, so where is Wrestling actually popular? Like sell out arenas popular? I am always surprised when I see videos of places like Russia where there are tons of empty seats. Or our World Team Trials with 2,000 people there tops.

 

As a high school coach in Southern California, there is this myth that wrestling is very popular in the Central Valley (Bakersfield area) Now wrestling is VERY good in that area, but the state tournament in the hotbed of CA Wrestling never even comes close to selling out. This leads me to believe there is an unreal problem with marketing our sport. The CA state meet is awesome and is located in the hotbed of the state and thousands of seats go unfilled. This happens in other areas like Illinois which does not sell out, etc.

 

I think that Wrestling is very popular in certain local areas around the world, but it can be a real head scratcher how in some places like I mentioned above events do not sell out. We need to put asses in the seats and celebrate these guys.

 

Examples of areas where Wrestling is huge...any others?

 

1. Tehran

2. Iowa City

3. Iowa State Meet

4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I've never been there, it sure sounds like wrestling is very popular just north of Tehran in regions such as Azerbaijan, Dagestan, Georgia, Chechnya, Armenia, etc. Not sure how many fans fill their arenas at their tournaments.

 

Wrestling also looks very popular further up in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Was tough to see the full arena on the webcast, but it looked like the Yarygin had a pretty good crowd in the dead of winter.

 

As far as marketing, totally agree with you - wrestling needs big improvements in this area. I'm amazed at how many of my friends/relatives and others (who are legit sports fans) have no clue who Jordan Burroughs is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok, so where is Wrestling actually popular? Like sell out arenas popular? I am always surprised when I see videos of places like Russia where there are tons of empty seats. Or our World Team Trials with 2,000 people there tops.

 

As a high school coach in Southern California, there is this myth that wrestling is very popular in the Central Valley (Bakersfield area) Now wrestling is VERY good in that area, but the state tournament in the hotbed of CA Wrestling never even comes close to selling out. This leads me to believe there is an unreal problem with marketing our sport. The CA state meet is awesome and is located in the hotbed of the state and thousands of seats go unfilled. This happens in other areas like Illinois which does not sell out, etc.

 

I think that Wrestling is very popular in certain local areas around the world, but it can be a real head scratcher how in some places like I mentioned above events do not sell out. We need to put asses in the seats and celebrate these guys.

 

Examples of areas where Wrestling is huge...any others?

 

1. Tehran

2. Iowa City

3. Iowa State Meet

4.

Where, other than Iowa, has the US WTT drawn close to 2K?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ibthink the 2011 WTT in OKC drew around 2,000. OKC was to get the 2012 Olympic trials, but due to the OKC Thunder NBA team making the playoffs, OKC couldn't guarantee Chesapeake Arena (where the NCAAs will be held this year) for the dates needed. Iowa City won the bid and did a superb job.

 

Now that PSU is rolling, if several former PSU wrestlers are in contention for a World or Olympic spot you'd see big crowds in PA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want more popularity in the US for amateur wrestling?

 

Try calling in to Sports Talk Radio shows.

 

I have done it for a long time and often get 'you are one of 3 guys we hear from' whilc they hear from hundreds for football and basketball.

 

Had one National talk radio guy, a former NCAA wrestler tell me if he got 25 calls a week asking about wrestling he could 'sell' it to his producers and give it regular space on his show. He said if the call and text/email volume was in the hundreds for specific wrestling duals and tournaments it would help a lot in getting large show segments geared towards wrestling.

 

So, why aren't you guys calling?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Franchise 107.7 fm in OKC has Kelly Gregg 3-time state hwt champ who played for the Baktimore Ravens for 13 years as a talk show host. Kelly frequently says wrestling is the best sport and is the only reason he made it pro football. Twice a month they have Mark Cody the OU coach (the station does have a contract with OU). They have also had John Smith on a few times. Every week they spend about 30 minutes on MMA with some big name interviews. They say they get more calls on that segment on anything besides football.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few years ago I read an online news article about the Ohio high school state championships (link was in the high school forum), the article stated the wrestling state championships sell more tickets per session than basketball (there are more basketball sessions though).

 

Also when Georgia decided to hold their high school state championships at the same venue they sold more tickets than any other high school post championship.

 

If you look at attendance figures for college athletics you'll find most teams outside of football don't draw big crowds. Look at college basketball, average attendance for 2013 was 4921 fans. With 345 teams, that average is skewed by big programs - 31 averaged more than 11,000 and 17 of those averaged more than 15,000 yet only about 1/3 of the teams averaged more than that 4921 figure.

32 basketball conferences and only 10 had attendance averages above 4921, half of them averaged 2500 or less and 10 of those averaged less than 2000.

College baseball has an even more drastic drop off, about 20 programs draw an average of over 3000 fans, LSU is the only university that cracks 10,000. The vast majority of programs draw less than 1000 fans per game.

 

To make the long short, the vast majority of college sports programs don't draw many fans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

American university athletic departments need to work on their marketing, it seems they only care about a few sports - mainly football, basketball and one or two others depending on the school.

I've noticed when channel surfing universities that are getting TV time for their women's volleyball teams usually have a decent crowd in attendance. So, the athletic depts are doing some marketing but they should be doing that for every home sporting event. If they can get 1500-2500 for volleyball they should be able to do the same with wrestling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
100% it is Switzerland. Im not even kidding. Their folkstyle big tournaments will draw 90,000 people for the finals match. Last years drew 300,000 over 3 days.

 

this-celebration-of-swiss-customs-and-traditions-exceeded-all-expectations-e3.jpg

any idea what their wrestling is like? is it conventional in relation to our folkstyle and freestyle?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had an exchange student stay with us from Switzerland. It is huge there. I told I was a former wrestler and he immediately pulled up a wrestling photo with his whole family at a wrestling event. But being a national champ there is better than Olympic Gold to them by far. They keep to themselves and are very isolated as compared to other euro nations. It is a combo of sumo, folk, and free is the best way to describe it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
100% it is Switzerland. Im not even kidding. Their folkstyle big tournaments will draw 90,000 people for the finals match. Last years drew 300,000 over 3 days.

 

this-celebration-of-swiss-customs-and-traditions-exceeded-all-expectations-e3.jpg

any idea what their wrestling is like? is it conventional in relation to our folkstyle and freestyle?

 

I know of the sport because I competed in it for about 12 years. It got me a TON of matches because you wrestle 6 tournaments a year, minimum 6 matches a tournament.

 

Its really more like judo than wrestling. No weight classes, sawdust pit, and you have to have a grip on the belt or pants (shorts) at all times in order to win. Mostly all throws and some ground wrestling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of the sport because I competed in it for about 12 years. It got me a TON of matches because you wrestle 6 tournaments a year, minimum 6 matches a tournament.

 

Its really more like judo than wrestling. No weight classes, sawdust pit, and you have to have a grip on the belt or pants (shorts) at all times in order to win. Mostly all throws and some ground wrestling.

 

Are you saying that you flew to Switzerland to compete 6 times a year for 12 years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Iowa high schools have some duals and some tournaments that draw over 1k. Wrestling is very popular in Iowa, the semis and finals of state will sell out. In fact the finals are usually sold out a few weeks after the tournaments previous years finals.The state tournament is held at the Wells Fargo arena, where last years Ncaas were held.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go see the Colorado High School State Chsmpionships you'll see a lot more than 1,000. uSA Wrestling Freestyle and Greco Roman tournaments draw flies, except the Olympic years. Lee Roy Smith said John wrestled in front of 40,000 in an outdoor arena in Iran.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go see the Colorado High School State Chsmpionships you'll see a lot more than 1,000. uSA Wrestling Freestyle and Greco Roman tournaments draw flies, except the Olympic years. Lee Roy Smith said John wrestled in front of 40,000 in an outdoor arena in Iran.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...