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State wrestling tournament a big shot in the arm for Billings economy

Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:50:11-04

BILLINGS – While the wrestlers exert their efforts and skills this weekend inside Montana’s biggest arena, Yellowstone County is pinning down some dollars on the outside.

“For us to be able to have this type of economic boost in February for our restaurants and our retailers are second to none. It is just an absolute economic boost,” said Alex Tyson, director of Visit Billings. “This is such a unique event. You have every class from double-A to C. All of those communities, all of those fans, all of those coaches, administrators, principals.”

At Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark, 600 athletes will compete in over 1,100 matches in the largest wrestling spectacle in Montana.

The state all-class wrestling tournament was first held at MetraPark in 1988 and has been a boon for Billings ever since, both for businesses and community pride.

“It’s a total sense of community.  It really is. You’ve got schools and people from all aspects and corners of Montana,” Tyson said. “There are very few events anywhere where you are able to have so many walks of life, so many towns so many different types of representations come out and create its own community”

Tyson says that this is just the beginning of the busy sports season in Billings.

Related: Follow live scoring and coverage of the 2019 Montana all-class wrestling tournament