These questions about regional wrestling supremacy are fraught with danger. Some folks will assume any answer they don’t like was supplied by someone with an agenda, and is therefore biased and invalid. These concerns are not wholly without merit, as deciding which locations are, or are not, included in a city’s greater metropolitan area involves many unavoidable judgement calls.
I’m not really interested in doing much to assuage those people’s concerns. I will, however, tell you exactly how I came up with my list of cities. I keep a spreadsheet of every national qualifier from the last 7 years, all 2310 of them, which includes the hometown of each wrestler. The data is admittedly imperfect, but it’s decent enough. Then I plug the data it into some mapping software and hit the cluster function (cluster func, haha still funny to me). I then count up the clusters around the different cities, and voila! A list!
So here’s the top 5 US cities at producing NCAA Wrestling Tournament National Qualifiers. Please do let me know if you have a reasonable objections or questions and please direct all angry whining, gripes and complaints to the bottom of the ocean.
1) New York – 176
2) Philadelphia – 126
3) Chicago – 121
4) Cleveland – 104
5) Pittsburgh – 96
You may have noticed that the list does not include any cities in the wrestling hotbeds of Iowa or Central PA. That is because those parts of the country contain many smaller metropolises that are spread out among more rural territory. If you did a per capita analysis of NQs/Metro Population, places like Des Moines, Bethlehem and Harrisburg would show up near the top. Alas, this is not that kind of analysis!