Heart of America Conference Championship Brings Economic Impact to Community

By Wade Steinlage Assistant Athletic Director for Communications


Oskaloosa--Last weekend’s Heart of America Athletic Conference Men’s Wrestling Championship was a success in many ways, including being a boon to the Oskaloosa economy.

The event featured teams from nine separate institutions, and for one of the few times since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, fans were also allowed to be in attendance as the Penn Activity Center was at 20% capacity.

Overall, the Championship brought $40,000 worth of economic impact with team parties spending nearly $20,000 and fans matching that amount.  It is estimated that $11,000 was spent on hotels and an additional $10,000 was spent on restaurants.

“Of great importance to our Athletic Department is how we can provide an enhanced benefit to our community, using sports to do so,” William Penn Athletics Director Nik Rule said.  “We understand that by having proficient and well-run collegiate events we are able to bring schools and fans to the area, and that directly benefits Oskaloosa businesses.  In the last three years, we have developed a highly-efficient athletic operations team and are being very aggressive in our desire to host events in Oskaloosa.  We believe strongly that Oskaloosa is a hidden gem and know that those that are exposed to what our community has to offer are always pleasantly surprised.  It is a win-win for our entire community.”

In addition to last weekend’s Championship, WPU hosted the first-ever NAIA National Championships Opening Round for men’s soccer in 2019, while also hosting a women’s volleyball Labor Day tournament, its first-ever bowling tournament, and well over 100 regular-season home events each school year.

The Championship was so well-received that at the conclusion of the event, the Heart men’s wrestling coaches voted to make William Penn the host institution for the 2022 and 2023 Championship as well.