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NCAA wrestling championships enjoy record attendance, viewership | TribLIVE.com
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NCAA wrestling championships enjoy record attendance, viewership

Paul Schofield
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Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Jason Nolf of Penn State runs onto the mat during the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on March 17, 2018, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Nolf is a Kittanning High School graduate.

There were numerous records set at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships last week.

Record crowds attended the six sessions at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, and Thursday the NCAA reported nearly 8 million fans tuned in to watch on ESPN.

The six sessions drew 113,743, breaking the record of 113,013 set in St. Louis in 2015.

A session attendance record also was set as 19,776 attended the finals Saturday, breaking the 2015 mark in St. Louis of 19,715.

Session 1 drew 18,660, Sessions 2, 3 and 4 drew 18,680; and Session 5 19,267.

The 2019 championships will be held at PPG Arena in Pittsburgh.

The second round drew record numbers, according to ESPN, which averaged 308,000 viewers on March 15, the network’s best ever viewership for the second round.

The audience increased for the semifinals on March 16, averaging 451,000 viewers on ESPN. The finals averaged 628,000 on ESPN2.

The semifinals had the third-best audience ever for the round, up from last year’s semifinals (443,000 viewers).

The medal round, airing on ESPNU on Saturday, averaged 153,000 viewers, up six percent from last year and was the most-watched since 2015.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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