The state wrestling tournament will move from its normal site of Ball Arena (formerly the Pepsi Center) to the Southwest Motors Events Center in Pueblo March 12-13, the Colorado High School Activities Association announced Wednesday. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | The Colorado High School Activities Association announced Wednesday that the state wrestling tournament — which can’t be held at Ball Arena (formerly the Pepsi Center) is now set to take place in Pueblo.

Condensed down to two days instead of three and separated by classifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, state tournaments are now scheduled for March 12-13 at the Southwest Motors Events Center, described as a multipurpose arena located at the Colorado State Fairgrounds.

In a release from CHSAA, Adam Bright — the assistant commissioner who oversees wrestling — said the Pueblo facility has been the site of regional basketball and cheer competitions in the past and can provide “some type of normalcy” to state.

“Providing a culminating event with the CHSAA Championship experience is a goal for all CHSAA sanctioned events during the season,” Bright said in a statement. “The City of Pueblo has played host to multiple CHSAA events in the past and provides an excellent venue to continue the championship experience during this 2021 wrestling season.”

The permanent seating capacity of the venue is 3,264 according to CHSAA, which could apply for variances from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to allow more spectators. Typically, the boys state tournament has had more than 10,000 people from around the state in stands for semifinal and championship rounds.

The girls state tournament was held at Thornton High School the previous two years when the sport had pilot status.

Half of the Season B championship events will take place at different venues than usual. The Denver Coliseum used to be the home of the state basketball and cheer championships, but this year they will move to the World Arena in Colorado Springs and now the state wrestling tournament has moved.

State meets in girls swimming currently are scheduled for VMAC in Thornton and the state ice hockey championship may return to the Ball Arena, but no announcement has been made yet.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Preps Sports

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