I think it draws 15,000+ no matter who is in the Finals if the they are held in IA. IA fans will turn out just to watch wrestling as well as ISU, UNI and even MN. It is only about 4hrs from Minneapolis to Des Moines so I would think a vast majority of MN fans would attend the Finals. I think any wrestling event is better attended in the Midwest than anywhere else. This is why I love the NCAA's in St.Louis and wish they would just keep it there. It takes me 8 hrs to drive down to St.Louis but the weather is always nice and the area is setup perfect for this type of event.
I have been to several NCAA's and I still think St.Louis is the best location of all that I have been to. I have been to Cleveland, UNI, Carver Hawkeye, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St.Louis, Omaha and others but St.Louis seems to be the best attended and most fun. I was wanted to go to Philly but didn't make it so I can't comment on the atmosphere or attendance. I did have friends go out to Albany, NY and they said it was not anywhere close to St.Louis for crowds or atmosphere. Just to let you know I am not that excited to have it in Des Moines, IA next year but of course I will go. I would imagine the attendance record will be shattered but I don't think Des Moines is setup as well as St.Louis.
The Philly city planners made the decision to put both buildings next to each other to improve driving traffic in and out of the area. Most local fans (which account for the vast majority in attendance in those buildings throughout the year) appreciate that. There was an alternative plan to put the arena near the art museum. Parking would have been much more difficult, but access to downtown Philly would have been much, much better. Oddly, the city probably would have benefited by the boost in restaurant/bar income as well as increased use of the public transportation system.
I understand the motivation to ease traffic, but I still think it was a whiff as far as social planning for the city. I have heard many many good things about St. Louis but haven't made it there for wrestling yet. I'm already looking forward to 2014 on Oklahoma City, but I have friends there. Des Moines has zero appeal for me.