ARLINGTON, Texas — A unique wrestling doubleheader featuring the top teams in both NCAA and international competition has been scheduled for Globe Life Field on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022. Details of Bout at the Ballpark which will include dual matches between Oklahoma State University and the University of Iowa and senior national teams from the United States and Iran were announced today by REV Entertainment, which will host and operate the event.
Tickets for Bout at the Ballpark will go on sale Thursday, October 14 at 10 a.m. CT at texasrangers.com/wrestling.
Bout at the Ballpark will be streamed live by FloSports, the exclusive broadcast partner for the event. To join the action, fans will be able to watch at FloWrestling.org.
“I am very excited to announce Bout at the Ballpark,” said REV Entertainment President Sean Decker. “We are proud to have the opportunity to host a competition that celebrate four of the most iconic brands in the sport of wrestling, the Oklahoma State Cowboys against the Iowa Hawkeyes and USA Wrestling versus Iran. I want to thank these four great programs for their incredible cooperation in helping us put together this spectacular wrestling event.”
The Oklahoma State-Iowa collegiate meet and the United States-Iran exhibition meet will take place simultaneously beginning at 6:30 p.m. on February 12 with bouts from the two competitions alternating throughout the event on two different mats. This will mark the first time a senior-level international meet and an NCAA meet will operate in this format.
Oklahoma State versus Iowa is one of the most decorated rivalry in college sports. The Cowboys’ 34 NCAA team championships represent the NCAA record for most titles in one sport for any school and the Hawkeyes’ 24 ties for third. This will be the 55th meeting between these storied NCAA wrestling programs with Oklahoma State holding a 29-23-2 advantage.
Iowa won the 2021 NCAA Championship while also earning its 37th Big Ten title. Iowa’s 55 NCAA Champions have won a total of 85 NCAA individual titles, crowning seven three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 117 Big Ten champions have combined for 207 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 19 three-time, and 31 two-time Big Ten champions from Iowa. Iowa’s 161 All-Americans have earned All-America status 352 times, including 22 four-time, 40 three-time and 41 two-time honorees.
Forty Iowa wrestlers have combined to win 11 Olympic and World Championships gold medals. The Hawkeyes are led by 2021 NWCA Coach of the Year Tom Brands, who won his fourth NCAA championship this past spring and is in his 16th year as head coach.
USA Wrestling is the national governing body for wrestling in the United States, and is a member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the international wrestling federation United World Wrestling. USA Wrestling manages competition, training and other programs for athletes of all ages, from boys and girls in youth programs all the way up to the World Championships and Olympic Games.
OSU has claimed 55 team conference titles in its history, as well as 143 NCAA individual champions and 481 All-Americans, both of which rank No. 1 nationally by a wide margin. Oklahoma State wrestlers have also made 41 Olympic appearances, winning 11 gold medals and 16 total medals to go along with 19 more medals at the world championships. OSU finished third in the 2021 NCAA Championships. The Cowboys are coached by former Olympic gold medal wrestler and six-time world champion John Smith, who has won five NCAA Championships since becoming head coach in 1991.The United States is one of the world powers in international wrestling, including placing second in the 2021 Senior World Championships in both men’s and women’s freestyle wrestling. USA Wrestling won nine medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, led by three individual Olympic champions.
Iran is one of the traditional powerhouses in men’s freestyle wrestling, with numerous World and Olympic champions in the sport. The friendly rivalry between the United States and Iran goes back decades. In 1998, a USA Wrestling international men’s freestyle team was the first U.S. sports team to compete in Iran since the Iranian revolution, a period which spanned almost two decades. The last time Iran competed in the United States was in 2016 at the World Cup in Los Angeles.
The USA and Iran have been competing in wrestling in both nations on a regular basis ever since. In 2003, Iran came to the United States along with Russia to compete in Grand Central Terminal in New York City, a key act of international friendship which helped wrestling retain its position on the Olympic program. USA vs. Iran wrestling matches traditionally draw large crowds in both nations.
Bout at the Ballpark will be the first event at Globe Life Field to feature an international competition. The two wrestling mats will be located between the areas of pitcher’s mound and second base and will be placed on raised stages to improve sightlines from the seating bowl. Floor seating will be added with the Globe Life Field capacity expected to be at least 27,000 for the matches.
Parking lots will open at 4 p.m. with the Globe Life Field Entrances opening at 5 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. start to Bout at the Ballpark.
Since opening in March 2020, Globe Life Field has not only been the home of the Texas Rangers but has also hosted numerous sports and entertainment events including the Major League Baseball NLDS, NLCS, and World Series and Wrangler© National Finals Rodeo in 2020 and the State Farm College Baseball Showdown.over 30 total college and high school baseball games, approximately 50 college and high school graduations, the Hella Mega Tour featuring Green Day, Fallout Boy, and Weezer, and Chris Stapleton in Concert in 2021. The building will hold its first football game with the Lockheed Martin Commanders’ Classic presented by USAA between the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday, November 6.
REV Entertainment is a subsidiary of Rangers Baseball Express, LLC, and was founded in August 2021 as a result of the success of Rangers Events, which had served as the exclusive booking agent for all non-MLB game day events beginning in 2012, first at Globe Life Park in Arlington (now Choctaw Stadium) and since 2020 at Globe Life Field.
QUOTES ON BOUT AT THE BALLPARK
John Smith, Head Wrestling Coach, Oklahoma State University
“The Oklahoma State-Iowa series is one of the best things the sport of wrestling has to offer. The history of both programs speaks for itself, and it’s always matched by the intensity on the mat. I’m excited to show this rivalry to a new part of the country and help grow our sport in the process. The chance to wrestle at a first-class facility like Globe Life Field is a great opportunity for our program and our fans. We can’t wait to get to Arlington and are looking forward to wrestling in what will be a great, one-of-a kind atmosphere.”
Tom Brands, Head Wrestling Coach, University of Iowa
“This is a no-brainer for us. It’s Oklahoma State. It’s outside the box. It’s international and I know it will be done right. We need to be ready to go.”
Rich Bender, Executive Director, USA Wrestling
“Wrestling transcends politics, and nothing shows that better than the friendly rivalry between USA Wrestling and the Iranian Wrestling Federation. These are two of the best freestyle wrestling nations in the world. We are grateful that Team USA is getting an opportunity to take on one of the strongest teams and measure ourselves against some of the best athletes in the sport. We are also honored to partner with the Texas Rangers and two of the most storied programs in the history of college wrestling, the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. It will be a great day for wrestling.”
Oklahoma State vs. Iowa Match Information
College Wrestling Basics:
10 weight classes: 125, 133, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184, 197, Heavyweight (285)
Mat Dimensions: Minimum 42’ x 42’
Timing: First Period – 3 min. Second and Third Periods – 2 min each.
Timing between matches depends on network broadcasting event.