Venue panorama of the Jordan Burroughs-Ben Askren match from the 2019 Beat the Streets Annual Benefit held at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

Venue panorama of the Jordan Burroughs-Ben Askren match from the 2019 Beat the Streets Annual Benefit held at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.


NCAA champions exhibition, star-powered panel highlight unique Beat the Streets Annual Benefit set for June 4 at Ziegfeld Ballroom

by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling

This year’s Beat the Streets Annual Benefit, which serves as a significant fundraising event for Beat the Streets NYC, takes a unique twist on the must-watch summer spectacle wrestling supports have bookmarked for the past 15 years.  

With previous events held at iconic New York City backdrops such as the U.S.S. Intrepid, Times Square, Madison Square Garden and Grand Central Station, this annual event is unmatched in scale. The 2024 version heads to Manhattan’s elegant Ziegfeld Ballroom where wrestling royalty will congregate for the occasion, helping to raise funds that will support Beat the Streets NYC achieve its mission to make a lifelong impact on New York City’s urban youth through wrestling.

There are four planned exhibition matches, headlined by a matchup of NCAA champions Andrew Alirez of Northern Colorado and Jesse Mendez of Ohio State. Plus, a high-powered panel discussion featuring New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferris, Olympic champion and six-time World champion wrestler Jordan Burroughs, and famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will showcase wrestling’s impact on success and life.

Both Alirez and Mendez were top performers at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 65 kg and boast elite freestyle chops. Alirez took the top spot at the U.S. Senior Nationals during his Olympic redshirt year. Mendez earned a silver medal at last year’s U20 World Championships. Alirez was a NCAA champion in 2023 at 141 pounds, while Mendez took the same honor in 2024. The pair have not faced one another prior to their upcoming appointment in The Big Apple.

Prior to taking on his panel role this year, Burroughs competed in exhibition matches at the Beat the Streets Annual Benefit eight times, going 8-0 against elite national and international opposition. Other U.S. Olympic champions who have participated in this event include Henry Cejudo, Jake Varner, Helen Maroulis, David Taylor, Kyle Snyder, Tamyra Mensah-Stock and Gable Steveson. It’s a who’s who of wrestling when it comes to alums of this remarkable event.

Undercard matches will feature prominent high school athletes from the Beat the Streets NYC circle against tough national opposition. Isabella Lorenzana of Queens will battle Caroline Biegel of New Jersey in a women’s bout. An all-New York battle will take place between Brooklyn’s Evin Gursoy and Dunia Sibomana-Rodriguez of Long Beach. Rounding out the exhibition matches are Oumar Tounkara of the Bronx facing Perrysburg, Ohio, product Grey Burnett.

The run-of-show will also include a dinner service, awards presentations, speeches from Beat the Streets student-athletes, and a live auction. Tickets remain available for those individuals seeking to attend the event in person. The action is set to begin at 6 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, June 4. A complete schedule of events can be found below.

Wrestling fans unable to attend can bid on silent auction items that include autographed memorabilia from the likes of Burroughs, Dake and Taylor. Also included are unique experiences such as VIP tickets to next year’s Final X, tickets to a Brooklyn Nets game and virtual workouts with Olympic champions. Beat the Streets NYC will also accept general donations here to help support its program.

For additional information about the Beat the Streets Annual Benefit please visit To inquire about sponsorship opportunities or to donate auction items, email Beat the Streets NYC Executive Director Brendan Buckley at

2024 Beat the Streets NYC Annual Benefit | June 4, Ziegfeld Ballroom, New York, N.Y.

Event Schedule

6 p.m. – Cocktail hour, two Beat the Streets exhibition matches

7 p.m. – Opening remarks, awards presentation

7:30 p.m. – Dinner, Beat the Streets exhibition match

8:30 p.m. – Panel discussion with Tim Ferris, Jordan Burroughs and Neil deGrasse Tyson

9 p.m. – Beat the Streets student-athlete speeches, live auction

9:45 p.m. – NCAA champions match

*All times listed are U.S. Eastern Time.

Exhibition Matches

  • Andrew Alirez (Northern Colorado) vs. Jesse Mendez (Ohio State)
  • Oumar Tounkara (Bronx) vs. Grey Burnett (Perrysburg, OH)
  • Evin Gursoy (Brooklyn) vs. Dunia Sibomana-Rodriguez (Long Beach, NY)
  • Isabella Lorenzana (Queens) vs. Caroline Biegel (DePaul Catholic, NJ)

Panelist Biographies

About Beat the Streets 

Since being founded in 2005, Beat the Streets has pioneered a movement that now includes 150 individual wrestling programs, a youth league and the first girls high school league.

Beat the Streets works to develop the full human and athletic potential of New York City urban youth and strengthen the city's wrestling culture. Beat the Streets aims to make a lifelong impact on student-athletes through the lessons learned on the wrestling mat -- discipline, perseverance, self-reliance, humility and a strong work ethic. For more information about Beat the Streets, visit and follow Beat the Streets on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and X.