Wrestling fans seemed pleased with their experience in Oklahoma City and said they would return if the NCAA Wrestling Championships were held here again.
For Corky Hanson, 57, of Crookston, Minn., it was his first visit to Oklahoma City.
“The fans are good. They are very knowledgeable about wrestling,” he said. “If you love wrestling, it’s a great place to come.”
Hanson and his traveling partner, Wayne Hamilton of Maple Grove, Minn., have attended more than 20 NCAA championships together.
“We love Oklahoma City,” said Hamilton, 59. “It’s a great place to visit. The Bricktown area is very nice. This is a great arena. I think you’ve got a lot of seating.”
Penn State wrestling fan Kirk Bussell has attended the last five NCAA Wrestling Championships and said Oklahoma City was his favorite venue of the group.
“The city is nice and wide open, relatively few traffic jams,” said Bussell, who lives near Hershey, Pa. “There is plenty of space here. It’s not like going into a typical metropolitan city. The highway system is easy to get in and out of.
“The people are absolutely wonderful. From the people taking your ticket at the door to the parking attendants, everybody is extremely polite. That cliché, Midwestern hospitality thing, holds true.”
It was the first visit to Oklahoma City for Bussell’s friend, Mike Lynch, 55, of Mifflinburg, Pa.
“I like it. I like the Bricktown walk. Plenty of places to eat,” Lynch said. “I have never been to St. Louis but I hear that is the yardstick so to speak for the NCAA Tournament and Kirk said it is right up there with it.”
St. Louis is closer to Minnesota, which is the only thing that Golden Gopher wrestling fan Chuck Henry prefers about the Missouri venue.
Henry, 72, has attended each NCAA Wrestling Championships since 2003 and more than 20 overall, including the last time it was held in Oklahoma City in 2006.
“Downtown looks like you have built some taller buildings. It’s much more colorful (than 2006),” said the Faribault, Minn., resident. “I am very satisfied. I have enjoyed it. I have enjoyed everything we have come into contact with.”