ST. LOUIS – Jan. 14, 2013 – St. Louis is one of six cities in the running to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. USA Swimming, in collaboration with the United States Olympic Committee, today announced the cities it is considering for the event. In addition to St. Louis, the cities are Greensboro, N.C., Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., Omaha, Neb., and San Antonio. The winning community will be site of the biggest swimming event in the country. The Trials will select the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team.
The St. Louis Sports Commission submitted the region’s bid last month. Should St. Louis be awarded the event, the Trials will take place in the Edward Jones Dome. Two temporary Olympic-sized pools – the competition pool and warm-up pool – will be constructed on the Dome floor. USA Swimming’s Aqua Zone fan and sponsor experience will take place in the adjoining America’s Center convention complex.
USA Swimming is coming off a year in which it saw its most successful Trials event in history. The 2012 Olympic Swim Trials, held in Omaha, saw over 164,000 fans in attendance and the eight days of competition were broadcast live on NBC.
The bid city evaluation period will run through the end of April and will include site visits to select finalist locations. An internal evaluation team from USA Swimming, along with an outside member of the USA Swimming board, will visit each location and select finalists from the group. In addition to reviewing the bids and making site visits, this team will ask follow-up questions of each city and evaluate all information and responses before ultimately making a recommendation to USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus, the USA Swimming Board of Directors and the USOC.
“We are thrilled to begin this process and are excited to see what these cities have to offer,” said Mike Unger, USA Swimming assistant executive director. “The Olympic Trials is the marquee swimming event in the U.S. and has grown into an amazing sports event. We are truly excited to continue to enhance the event and make it even more spectacular in 2016.”
Since 2004, USA Swimming has consistently expanded the reach of the Olympic Swim Trials. Attendance numbers have soared and the Aqua Zone has grown to bring swimming to a wider audience.
The 2004 Olympic Trials in Long Beach, Calif., marked the first time the Olympic Trials were held in an outdoor venue with temporary pools. In 2008 and 2012, the Trials moved to Omaha where two temporary pools were built inside the CenturyLink Center.
Of the bid cities, only two have previously hosted the event – Indianapolis and Omaha. Indianapolis hosted Trials in 1952 (women only), 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2000, while Omaha played host to the event in 2008 and 2012.
A formal selection announcement is expected to be made following the USA Swimming Board Meeting at the end of April.