Jamestown, N.D., will host the first ever National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics women’s wrestling invitational March 15-16. 

According to NewsDakota.com, the NAIA added women’s wrestling as an invitational sport beginning in the 2018-2019 after the National Administrative Council (NAC) unanimously approved the motion at the NAIA National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., in April 2018.

The NAIA was the first intercollegiate athletics association to recognize women’s wrestling.

“The NAIA is thrilled to have the University of Jamestown host the 2019 Women’s Wrestling National Invitational,” said Jim Carr, NAIA president and CEO. “This is a milestone event for women’s wrestling and we are confident that Jamestown will deliver an exceptional experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans.”

University of Jamestown president Dr. Polly Peterson said her school has committed to hosting the event for the next 10 years. “The University and the Jamestown community look forward to welcoming the athletes and their fans,” she said. “The University is appreciative of the support and participation that it received from the community as we moved through the site selection process.”

The event will be held at Harold Newman Arena. The $16 million building opened September 29, 2017, and has already been the host to a college basketball conference championship tournament, high school regional basketball game, and many state, local and regional events. The 61,000-square-foot facility features a private meeting room overlooking the floor, which combined with the lobby, can seat 350 people. There are 8 locker rooms, two concessions stands, a game day athletic training room and conference room.

In all, 25 NAIA institutions — including Jamestown — are anticipated to field women’s wrestling teams during the 2018-2019 season, up from 19 the year prior. Women’s wrestling will be eligible for championship status after two years of competition as an invitational sport.

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.