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MGM Grand to Host 2001 U.S. National Wrestling Championships



LAS VEGAS--Site of many of the world's top mega concerts and sporting events since it opened in 1993, the MGM Grand has become the title sponsor and it's MGM Grand Garden Arena will be the site for the 2001 MGM Grand United States National Wrestling Championships, it was announced jointly by USA Wrestling and the Las Vegas Sports Committee. The massive tournament, with nearly 2,500 athletes expected to compete, will include the U.S. Freestyle Nationals, the U.S. Greco-Roman Nationals, the U.S. Women's Nationals, the U.S. Veteran's Nationals and the Western Junior Regionals. ESPN will televise the event nationally on a tape-delayed basis. Being co-produced for the 12th time by USA Wrestling and the Las Vegas Sports Committee (LVSC), the 2001 MGM Grand United States National Wrestling Championships will be held April 11-14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. With ticket demand expected to be high, seating capacity for this event will be just under 8,000 in the 17,000-seat center because of the expansive competition area required. "USA Wrestling has a great working relationship with the Las Vegas Sports Committee and the addition of the MGM Grand as title sponsor and venue adds a significant new dimension to the United States National Wrestling Championships," said Rich Bender, Executive Director for USA Wrestling, the national governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling. "We look forward to another outstanding event, featuring the best wrestlers in the United States showcased in the internationally-renown MGM Grand Garden Arena." "With the MGM as title sponsor and moving to the MGM Grand Garden Arena for this championship event offers increased marketing and promotional opportunities while still keeping the event in Las Vegas--which has proven to be the most successful venue for the United States National Wrestling Championships," said Larry Barnson, LVSC president. In Las Vegas, America's finest wrestlers will be starting the road to September's World Championship in New York City. National Championships will be decided in the eight international weight categories for senior men competitors along with the six for women. For men, the weight divisions are: 119 lbs. (54Kg), 127.75 lbs. (58kg), 138.75 lbs.(63kg), 152 lbs. (69kg), 167.5 lbs. (76kg), 187.25 lbs. (85kg), 213.75 lbs. (97kg) and 286 lbs. (130kg). The six women's weight divisions are: 101.25 lbs. (46kg), 112.25 lbs. (51kg), 123.25 lbs. (56kg), 136 lbs. (62kg), 149.75 lbs. (68kg), and 165.25 lbs. (75kg). There will be six weight divisions for the veteran's divisions, split into five divisions based on ages. Titles in 12 weight divisions will be decided in the Western Junior Regionals. Any qualified junior wrestler may compete in one of seven regional championships held annually by USA Wrestling across the country. The top six place winners in each weight class in men's freestyle and eight in men's Greco Roman will qualify for the World Team Trials in June. The top eight women's place winners in each weight class will advance to the U.S. World Team Trials in June. Las Vegas has hosted and the LVSC and USA Wrestling have worked together to hold 11 previous Nationals in the Southern Nevada area, including the past two years. For 16 years, the LVSC, a non-profit organization benefitting the youth of Las Vegas, has been producing special events in the Las Vegas area. Other major wrestling events produced by the LVSC include the 1997 USA Wrestling Freestyle World Team Trials, the 1998 NAIA National Wrestling Championships and the 1998 Junior World Freestyle Wrestling Championships. In July of 1999, the LVSC presented the U.S. Taekwondo Junior Olympics with over 5,000 participants. VIP, Preferred and General Admission All-Event tickets are on sale now through April 10 at the MGM Grand Box Office or all TicketMaster locations (Smith's, Tower Records, Robinson-May and select Odyssey/Wherehouse Record locations). To charge by phone, call TicketMaster at 702-474 4000 or on-line at www.ticketmaster.com. With admission for all four days, VIP All-Event packages are $125 each, Preferred All-Event tickets are $60 each and General Admission All-Event tickets are on sale for $40 for adults and $20 for students (6 to 17 years old). Preferred and General Admission daily tickets will be available at the door only. Preferred daily tickets will be $35 while General Admission daily tickets will be $25 for adults and $15 for students. Tickets to the finals only (to be held on Saturday, April 14) will be available on the day of the event at the MGM Grand Box Office. Preferred will be $25 each while General Admission tickets for the finals will be $20 for adults and $10 for students. Additional information is available from the LVSC infoline at 735-5862 or on the organization's website at www.lvsports.org.
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