by Sam Hieb
In the wake of the recent U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals up at the taxpayer-funded aquatic center, the N&R publishes two articles in three days speculating the G’boro will make a bid for the 2016 Olympic swimming trials.
Honestly, my gut reaction is if Omaha can do it…..
The Olympic Trials can be an economic boon to a host city. Economists from Creighton University and the University of Nebraska studied Omaha’s 2008 Olympic Trials. Setting aside the fuzzy math of TV exposure, the study found people spent $6.9 million on lodging, food and beverages, and the trials generated $1.3 million in state and local taxes.
No wonder Omaha wanted to host again. And no wonder Greensboro won’t be alone in trying to woo USA Swimming for the 2016 trials.
Attempts to reach Mike Unger, USA Swimming’s assistant executive director for business operations/ member services, for comment on Greensboro’s bid were unsuccessful.
“I know it’s four years away, but anyone who hasn’t started planning now is already behind the eight ball,” John Ireland of Myrtha Pools USA said. “We’ve been contacted by numerous cities already as part of their (bid) plans.”
Of course that would mean more funding:
The Greensboro Aquatic Center’s pools are top-of-the-line. But Olympic swimming is a spectator sport. It needs far more than the 2,200 seats above Greensboro’s main pool.
The coliseum would have to install two temporary pools — one on the floor of the 23,000-seat main arena, and another warm-up pool in the Special Events Center.
“Our facility is really unique,” Brown said. “We would have this third pool, the GAC, on site for all kinds of preliminary warm-ups and practices, getting the athletes ready.”
Triadwatch reports that within the $24 million Brown is asking from the City Council is another million to widen the concourse at the aquatic center. The N&R reports the council set a public hearing for May 15 to consider Brown’s request —wonder how that will turn out.
(More about the greenway later.)