Just four weeks until Beat the Streets Gala in Times Square in New York City on May 7

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | April 09, 2014, 9:28 p.m. (ET)
It is exactly four weeks until the 2014 Beat the Streets Gala in New York City, and organizers have big plans for this special wrestling event, set for Wednesday, May 7.

The world-class competition that has become a traditional part of the Gala will return to historic Times Square in Manhattan, where it has been held two previous times. However, this time, the competition will be in a different location within the Times Square area, between 42nd and 43rd Street.

There will be an exciting new format this year, as Team USA will square off with a World All-Star Team, featuring selected star wrestlers from across the world.

“We are excited to be back in Times Square, the center of the universe. We are very excited about the concept of the USA vs. the World. We are pleased that many of the best wrestlers in the world will be coming to face our American team. Where else should it be than in Times Square?” said Jim Fallis, Executive Director of Beat the Streets, Inc.

The lineups for both the United States team and the World All-Stars have not yet been finalized and will be announced when available.

The competition will be held alongside the annual Beat the Streets Awards Gala, which will be held following the competition at the Best Buy Theater at 1515 Broadway. A ticket will be required for both the competition and the Gala.

Last year, the competition was held in Vanderbilt Hall in historic Grand Central Terminal. The event was billed “The Rumble on the Rails” and included dual meets between Team USA, Iran and Russia. It was a major success and was an important part of the Keep Olympic Wrestling effort, which resulted in wrestling retaining its status on the Olympic Games program.

The USA vs. the World dual is a private event. Tickets are required for admission and they must be bought ahead of time from www.btsny.org.

This will be the fifth straight year in which a major international-style wrestling competition will be hosted as part of the Beat the Streets Gala activities.

In 2010, an all-star challenge featuring top U.S. wrestlers was held on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan. In 2011, the United States defeated World champion Russia, 5-2, the first sports event ever held in historic Times Square. In 2012, another U.S. vs. Russia dual meet was held in Times Square, along with the U.S. Olympic Team Wrestle-off for the 60 kg/132 lbs. position on the U.S. Olympic Team in men’s freestyle. All of these events have been great showcases for international wrestling as well as receiving major media coverage.

At New York, N.Y., May 7

4:00 p.m. – Beat the Streets Exhibition Matches in Times Square at 43rd Street
5:30 p.m. – World Class Wrestling: Team USA vs. The World in Times Square at 43rd Street
7:30 p.m. – Gala Celebration at Best Buy Theater at 1515 Broadway

The mission of Beat the Streets is to develop the full human and athletic potential of the urban youth and to strengthen the culture of New York City wrestling. BTSW works directly with the New York City Department of Education in a public-private partnership to help New York City's student-athletes achieve their personal and athletic goals. Through the operation of wrestling programs in middle and high schools in the five boroughs, BTSW and the DOE provide a safe, positive atmosphere in which disadvantaged and at-risk youth can learn the essential life skills of physical fitness, teamwork, and self-empowerment. The goal of fostering strong, dedicated, and optimistic kids is delivered through coaching, after-school programs, and mentoring. More information can be found at www.btsny.org.

USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation FILA. Simply, USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. Its president is James Ravannack, and its Executive Director is Rich Bender.