gh wrote:Stanford doesn't remotely have the seating and it would be tough to boost it to the 20,000 level (which is certainly required to help crack your nut). Stanford also no longer has Vin Lananna; you may have noticed that as he moved from Stanford to Oregon, so did a lot of hosting. As I said, it's crucial to have a driving individual in place.
Here is one reason that Eugene should not become a "permanent" site. Lananna will not be around for the next 40 years, right?
Say, what? The Trials were there before Lananna and will be after he goes.
Actually the real factor is Phil Knight. I look as Lananna as more of a cog in the system, Nikeland and Oregon will have find someone to fill his spot. Knight, however, is another thing altogether and the motor that runs it. What will happen after he goes.....
Yes, one would have to say that Knight/Nike play a huge role, combined with the clear, vocal, and enthusiastic support of the UofO/Eugene community. All that means that there should be strong support for the Trials for the foreseeable future. No other US city can claim anything like this.
It took Lananna to reenergize the OTC base and forge the big Nike connection. Once Vin is gone inertia will work for a few years. After that....... And as noted earlier all Nike bets are off once Knight moves along.
I love that the weather in Eugene is somewhat similar to the weather in London. In a perfect world, it would be great if the Trials always had similar weather as the Olympics, so we could pick the athletes most likely to succeed in that climate.
There should be a transparent bidding process every year. It will be hard to top Eugene, but if someone wants to try, more power to them!
Does anyone know which committee votes on this or how the process works?
Having lived in England, I can say the weather for late July and early August should be warm and dry. And even when it does rain it is rare that it is the type that has plagued the first few days of the Trials, with buckets of rain and 50's.
And having lived in Eugene, I think I can say, the weather there now, for this time of year is a real anomaly. So trying to pick the Trials site on what the weather may be in the Olympics seems to be a rather dubious proposition.
And besides in our earlier discussions I think the conclusion we came to was that the only real possibilities are Eugene and Des Moines.
gh wrote:and guess what, with only 4 years to go, if nobody else has made noises yet, they're probably pretty much out of the picture. Planning/prepping these puppies takes a lot of time.
The perfect place for the prep to Rio would be . . . Tad Gormley in Nawlins!!! Is the track still there?
Wow, good find. Looks like a good facility (http://goo.gl/maps/utTk) with a practice track right above it. The stadium configuration is a little odd, though. Looks like it was originally build to surround a smaller track/field.
Okay. I've had enough of the shots at Des Moines. I have not heard very many concrete reasons NOT to have the Trials in Des Moines.
First, the weather reasons for and against Des Moines and Eugene are not rational. We have yet to be able to control those factors. The current conditions in both places are obviously abnormal. It is not 100 every year in June in Des Moines nor is it 60 and rainy in Eugene every year in June. We probably don't want it in Phoenix or Fairbanks, but other than that, the weather shouldn't be a factor.
Facilities: I have never been to Eugene. It looks nice on TV. Drake Stadium would not hold as many people. They could add seating to the north end if needed. There is not an adequate indoor facility for athletes to go in case of tornadoes, nor is there an adequate warmup track. These are the real problems with Des Moines. If they took care of these problems, I believe it would be a fabulous place for the Trials.
Attendance: I have no explanation for the attendance issues. I will say as a parent with 4 kids who do a lot of sports and one that is in collegiate sports, that a family's time is becoming more and more tight as the years go on. Unless you have some sort of connection, you may not go over to the NCAA meet. Drake, Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI don't have large contingents going to the NCAA meet. UO is usually well-represented at the NCAA meet, so locals may be more likely to show.
Meet presentation: Even with the all-powerful Phil Knight/Nike/Oregon/Pre/Evil Empire/Tracktown/hypefest, guess what? Track and field is STILL a marginal sport. Swimming gets prime time live coverage??Swimming? They are underwater for 99% of the races. You can keep up with them...by walking! If they swam like dolphins or something like that, maybe. 1 hour of NBC on Saturday night? Pathetic. Why spread it out over 10 days? The attention span of the casual sports fan cannot deal with that. What are the big sporting events? They are one-day, do-or-die moments that grab the viewers attention. This sport will never be on the footing of baseball, football, basketball, BUT on espn.com we are behind NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA FB, NCAA BB, NASCAR, SOCCER, the we have to go to "MORE SPORTS". Click on that and you get: tennis, racing, espnW, boxing, mixed martial arts, horse racing, poker, and others, but then you have "Olympic Sports". During the OTs, we are sharing time with swimming and gymnastics. It is time to think outside the box, people! First thing, this must get shorter, in order to gain more attention. Plus fewer rounds. Have the last day be all finals of the marquee events (I hate to say that, but that will preclude field events, which are my passion, but I know where the bread is buttered).
Des Moines: The city of Des Moines is fine. It is safe. I really don't know what you are looking for exactly, Disneyland? Casinos? Come to Des Moines, watch track all day, flop in to your hotel, and recover for the next day, what more do you need?
Norm Balke wrote:Facilities: I have never been to Eugene. It looks nice on TV. Drake Stadium would not hold as many people. They could add seating to the north end if needed. There is not an adequate indoor facility for athletes to go in case of tornadoes, nor is there an adequate warmup track. These are the real problems with Des Moines. If they took care of these problems, I believe it would be a fabulous place for the Trials.
Fund-raising is underway for expanding the Drake Fieldhouse, which would put all the warmup facilities indoors.
In my mind it's not about Eugene vs. Des Moines. The big problem is that no one else is interested in hosting anything. Other than NCAA '09 in Fayetteville (with very poor turnout), all the NCAAs and USATF/Oly Trials have been at one or the other.
Norm Balke wrote:Des Moines: The city of Des Moines is fine. It is safe. I really don't know what you are looking for exactly, Disneyland? Casinos? Come to Des Moines, watch track all day, flop in to your hotel, and recover for the next day, what more do you need?
The big point is official, financial support. If Des Moines can actually come up with that, great, but I haven't really seen it. What is TRULY important, however, is a communal atmosphere of excitement--of actually CARING about the event. You've got that in spades in Eugene, but I really can't imagine anything similar anywhere else. The trials I attended in Indy and New Orleans were like little, tiny islands of track: the energy IN the stadium was just fine, but that absolutely stopped 100 feet from the place. The cities themselves, from everything I saw, had no clue the events were going on.
IF (and we know it won't happen) the Trials were some super efficient 3 or 4 day thing, then maybe they could be done "anywhere." However, in the current format--as a 10 day athletics love fest/perfect class reunion/Woodstock/Lost Weekend binge/Fantasy Island getaway--it really needs to be in a place that actually shares that overall vibe. Eugene has it and it really is a beautiful thing.
For me, what hurts Des Moines most is holding the DT, JT and HT outside the stadium. The HT isn't an issue since that's also held outside Hayward (and was held outside Sacto). But there just isn't any room in the throws areas for a lot of spectators and then you have the issue of throws conflicting with events inside the stadium. As I see it, they either need to figure out a way to move the DT and JT inside the stadium, or rope off the adjacent streets to allow more fans to gather and hold the events at odd hours so there's no conflict with anything else. Do that and I'm willing to suffer the heat. I enjoy Des Moines and its friendly locals and I really don't care if there isn't a ton of other things to do there since I'd be going for the T&F. But you've raised a good question regarding attendance. Eugene is a proven commodity. Des Moines is no longer given the poor attendance the past two NCAAs (and there have probably been more fans from Eugene in attendance than any other city outside a 500 mile radius).
Attendance is a non-issue from USATF/USOC standpoint. It's only a concern for the hosts, who stand to lose their shirts if a lack of paying customers keeps them from paying the bills. Also, the word "Olympic" brings in people who otherwise wouldn't be interested. I have no doubt that all 14,500 permanent seats would be sold.
From my perspective, I'm concerned that Drake Stadium is too small. SRO for Eugene back in the 70s was 16k or so, which means the only smaller venues than Drake would be Indy and Echo Summit. And the overall trend for OT attendance is upwards, regardless of the host. The 8-day attendance totals since the format began in '68: 2012 (Eugene) – 173,153 2008 (Eugene) –167,123 2004 (Sacramento) – 172,230 2000 (Sacramento) – 187,104 1996 (Atlanta) – 151,522 1992 (New Orleans) – 137,262 1988 (Indianapolis) – 90,070 1984 (Los Angeles) – 143,826 1980 (Eugene) – 121,727 1976 (Eugene) – 105,500 1972 (Eugene) – 109,800 1968 (Echo Summit) – 100,000
BeerFart wrote:Has USATF selected a site yet for the 2016 trials?
Bring it to Icahn Stadium, NYC! We've been ready!
Why not NYC? Admittedly, I've never actually figured out how to get to Randall's Island (even though I am often in NYC), but I figure T & F News will have a bus, as it did in 1991, when the stadium was no good. There seem to be enough hotels.
BeerFart wrote:Has USATF selected a site yet for the 2016 trials?
Bring it to Icahn Stadium, NYC! We've been ready!
Why not NYC? Admittedly, I've never actually figured out how to get to Randall's Island (even though I am often in NYC)
The closest subway stop is 125th/Lex on the 4,5,6 lines. During the Adidas meet, they run special buses to Randall's and they'd surely do so for a Trials. While attendance could be better at other NYC meets, I'd be more than happy to fly on in and help boost attendance.
For clarity purposes, at the outset, this is a tongue-in-cheek post. I'm not really serious. But after attending the World Championships in Edmonton in 2001, I was in favor of having both the U.S. and the Canadian trials there, maybe jointly. I had a great time. There were opportunities to dine Ukrainian, Hungarian, and other international cuisines. The trials if held there would afford an opportunity during the two off days for a side trip to Jasper. Edmonton had buses set up at outlying locations to get people to the stadium. There were moving cameras along the rail at foot level, plus other cameras overhead above the straightaways. The only negative was I drank something too acidic I shouldn't have, a popular American soft drink which will go unnamed in this post, and discovered that Tagemet wasn't an over-the-counter drug in Canada. But at least after a day or two of suffering I got to sample the Canadian health care system.
This year the overall attendance at the NCAAs in Des Moines was 20,046. Two years ago the NCAAs in Eugene drew a meet record 45,847. That said, in 2010 the Duck men finished third, the Duckettes second, and U of Oregon had local star power with Wheating, Acosta, Centro, Hasay, and others. The previous record was set in Des Moines in 2008 with 41,187. Maybe Des Moines would sell as many tickets as Eugene for the OT. Or maybe not. Having gone to the second weekend this year, I'd love for Eugene to keep hosting it. (I missed the Summer of Love, and Woodstock--born 1962--so Eugene is making up for that!)
Amen Dr. Jay! Amen. As gh pointed out in one of his posts, Eugene is Disneyworld for track fans. Imagine a major American flagship university with a big-time football program and all the bells and whistles that come with big time American college football, that builds statues for track coaches, not football coaches, that memorializes distance runners, not football players and whose sports bars have track memorabilia plastered on its walls, not football memorabilia.
I personally enjoy all meets in Eugene. I actually like Des Moines as well, but it just wouldn't be the same for a 10-day stay for the Trials as it is for 4-5 days for NCAAs/USAs.
But perhaps the most important question to ask is, if Des Moines does NOT get the 2016 Trials, and it's given to Eugene (or understood to be given to Eugene) in perpetuity, who else is going to bid for the US Champs in non-OT years, if that OT carrot is not dangled in front of them?
I imagine Eugene will take the occasional odd (i.e. World Championship year), but probably not when they're hosting the NCAA meet. And who is going to take the dreaded even year between Olympiads, if it's not combined with an odd year?
I think Eugene would be more than happy to take every odd year; while the attendance won't equal the Olympic Trials, I don't know anywhere else where the attendance would be as good as it was in Eugene in 2001, 2009 and 2011. During that period, no one else hosted the meet more than once. World Trials are just as interesting as Olympic Trials to an avid fan. Eugene is well-equipped to handle both an NCAA meet and World's/Olympic Trials in the same year. Good base of season ticket holders. Will be interesting to see the attendance in Des Moines next year. USATF should not make a decision on 2016 until after next year's World Trials.