On the heels of the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex’s recent announcement that it will host TNA Impact Wrestling Live comes more wrestling action as the KCAC will host the 2013 Flo Nationals wrestling tournament on Friday.
Flo Nationals brings the best high school and middle school wrestlers from across the nation together in one tournament.
“It’s centered around wrestling’s largest media center, which is Flo Wrestling,” said Dave Dean, of Flo Wrestling. “Kids come in to wrestle in this tournament from all over the country.”
Last year’s tournament saw 800 entries, according to the Flo Nationals website. Indiana can expect to see young wrestlers from across the nation. Dean said contingents of 100 people or more are coming from places such as California, Arizona, Michigan and from the Midwest and East Coast.
“The main purpose is to bring the best wrestlers from around the country to compete,” Dean said, “and by virtue of that, the college coaches from around the country take note and make an effort to come and connect and see some of the talent.”
The event will feature 12 mats of wrestling and will be streamed live to flowrestling.com. Winners will receive plaques and recognition, while all finalists receive a Flo Wrestling singlet, a very sought-after item.
“When Flo Wrestling gives away a piece of gear, it’s very coveted,” Dean said.
Flo Nationals is entering its fifth year with this tournament. It was conceived by the founder of Flo Wrestling, Martin Floreani.
This tournament marks the first time the nationally recognized brand of Flo Wrestling has appeared in Indiana County.
“We knew we wanted to be around the Pennsylvania area,” Dean said. “We looked into a few venues. By virtue of different trade-offs, it was just the best venue for us for what we were doing this year. You have a brand-new, beautiful arena there.”
“We worked closely with Dave Dean and NUWAY (National United Wrestling Association for Youth) Wrestling and Flo Nationals to work on their needs and what they were looking for and what Indiana and the Kovalchick Complex had to offer, and we’re able to work out a deal to get them to come here,” said Jim Grafstrom, general manager at the KCAC. “The Indiana County Tourist Bureau helped us out a lot with trying to organize the different hotels and different outside-of-the-arena activities for them to do, so it was a nice partnership with them. So we’re excited to have them.”
Grafstrom explained they’re expecting a good crowd for the Flo Nationals as registration for Friday and Saturday is almost booked. Sunday has sold very well, too.
This event marks the arrival of yet another nationally known brand to the KCAC. Grafstrom said he feels these types of events will become regulars at the KCAC.
“I know, as I mentioned before, we had our national recognition from “Venues Today” in 2012 for the University Top Stops, and that goes a long way,” he said. “That goes out into one of the most recognized industry publications that’s seen by promoters. “I think we’re going to see a lot of those events start to come in and utilize our facility instead of some of the other places in our region.”
Grafstrom said he hoped the tournament would consider the KCAC again.
“Every time we have an event in here, it’s our goal to make them come in here, have the best time, the best experience and have them want to come back next year,” he said. “It’s absolutely something we’re going to look at building a long-term relationship with.”
The tournament begins Friday at 8 a.m. and continues through Sunday.