One of the highlights on the annual amateur wrestling calendar returns for the 11th straight year as Beat the Streets Wrestling (BTS), the largest grassroots inner city wrestling program in the United States, and USA Wrestling today announced that the annual BTS benefit will be held on Thursday, May 28. The thrilling night of wrestling, dubbed “Grapple at the Garden,” will again be held at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden after making a highly successful, sold-out debut there in 2019 following nearly a decade at various other iconic New York City venues.
The bouts will again be followed by the annual Benefit Celebration, which recognizes not only the elite athletes who compete at the event but also the BTS standout youth wrestlers who epitomize the work that the not-for-profit organization does year-round. Expected to compete are BTS wrestlers along with a national high school All-Star match-up, NCAA Champions and international Olympic men and women, and potentially mixed martial arts athletes who began as wrestlers.
Ticket information as well as the athletes, matchups, schedule and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.
“We couldn’t have been more pleased with the response to our first year at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden,” said Beat the Streets Executive Director Brendan Buckley. “The sold-out crowd brought a non-stop energy, fueled by world-class wrestling action from top to bottom. We expect it will be an even hotter ticket this year with the Tokyo Olympics on the horizon.”
“The Board of Beat the Streets is excited to present another outstanding competition as we raise funds for the youth of New York City,” added BTS Chairman of the Board Ray Barczak. “The support we receive from donors, fans and others during our annual benefit allows us to achieve our mission. With more than 3,000 male and female student-athletes participating in more than 150 programs across the region, Beat the Streets is in its 14th year of changing lives and providing opportunities that truly make a difference.”
Beat the Streets Benefit competitions began in 2010 and have since become a major showcase of the best of international wrestling. This unique and electrifying annual event has helped BTS raise millions of dollars to support local youth wrestling programs which empower young people in New York City. The 2019 event raised $1.3 million for the organization. Appearances by Olympic champions Jordan Burroughs (2012, gold), Kyle Snyder (2016, gold) and J’den Cox (2016, bronze) and local favorites like Nick Suriano (Rutgers University/Paramus, N.J.), James Green (Willingboro, N.J.) and Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers/So. Plainfield, N.J.) were among the night’s many crowd-pleasing highlights.
The first Beat the Streets Benefit was held on the U.S.S. Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan. Since then, the benefit has taken place at other notable New York City spots like Grand Central Terminal and Times Square. Team USA has faced off against teams from around the world including Japan, Cuba, Russia, Iran and Canada, as well as international all-star teams. In 2018, the competition was hosted at the new Pier 17 in the Seaport District and included the highly anticipated Burroughs vs. Frank Chamizo (Italy) match.
New York City’s Madison Square Garden is one of the most famous sporting and entertainment venues in the world. The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden is an impressive venue with the capacity to seat over 5,000. The theater has hosted notable wrestling events including the 1998 Goodwill Games wrestling competition and the 2017 Grapple at the Garden college wrestling event.