Wrestling Duals fans boost local economy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wrestling Duals fans boost local economy

by Danielle Wagner

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- The best wrestlers in the nation means the best fans in the nation for the Cliff/Keen NWCA Duals at the UNI-Dome.

Dustin Smith of Nebraska arrived in Cedar Falls at 2:30 Saturday morning to attend the wrestling duals.

"It's more than 300 miles. It took me seven and a half hours to get here," said Nebraska Fan Dustin Smith.

Smith is one of more than 15,000 fans expected this weekend at the UNI-Dome. Thousands of fans equals millions of dollars for the local economy.

"Last year I think we calculated about $2.8 million into the local economy for the weekend," said Justin Sell.

UNI Associate Athletic Director Justin Sell said hotels are booked and restaurants are full each time the Duals come to town.

Fan Dustin Smith is staying at a hotel, with plans to eat out and visit some local bars.

According to the Cedar Falls Visitor's Bureau, a typical traveling party to the Duals spends about $129 per day.

For many fans, nothing, not even winter weather will keep them away.

"Roads were real bad. A lot of cars in the ditch, but I made it through," said Smith.

"Every year we catch the weather, but wrestling fans will go through anything," said Sell.

Anything to cheer on their teams, which is good news for Cedar Falls and surrounding communities.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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