SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
A little over two years ago, wrestling as a sport was in trouble. Removed from the Olympics and struggling for relevance, what was one of the world’s oldest sports was on its way to infamy. Fast forward to today, and it looks like the sport is continuing to get up off the mat, with its best opportunities ahead with New Jersey and the area around here suddenly becoming one of the best points for growth and engagement.
This past weekend as March Madness played across a variety of channels, the NCAA Championships played out before a sellout crowd front and center on ESPN, a great opportunity to showcase the speed and style of America’s next champions before what was a surprisingly solid TV number. The interest was also buoyed by a little bounce from the popular film “Foxcatcher,” an increased partnership with the always engaged MMA community and some of its crossover stars, the expansion of the Big 10, still arguably the best overall wrestling conference, into the DC area and the New York area (Rutgers wrestling program has gone from life support to a revenue generator with big crowds and bigger recruits leading to positive dollars), an increased focus on women competing and of course, the Olympic reinclusion for 2016. All of which spells for brighter days ahead for the sport and tis governing body in the States, USA Wrestling.