USA Swimming, in collaboration with the United States Olympic Committee, announced Saturday that Omaha, Neb., has been selected as the host city for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming.
The 2016 Olympic Trials ranks as the biggest swimming event in the country and will select the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team, which will represent Team USA in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The competition will take place at the CenturyLink Center Omaha and that dates will soon become available on www.usaswimming.org/trials.
For the first time, the host city selection was announced via a live webcast from the USA Swimming Board of Directors Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo. The USA Swimming Board approved the selection of Omaha as host city today prior to the live announcement.
“We are thrilled to bring Olympic Trials back to Omaha in 2016,” said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming executive director. “The Olympic Trials is a spectacular event, offering a great experience for our athletes, fans, families and coaches. Trials is our sport’s signature event and in announcing Omaha as the 2016 host city today, we are lighting the fuse for literally hundreds of thousands of young swimmers who will be setting their sights on qualifying to participate in the greatest swimming event in the country.”
The 2016 bid city evaluation period opened in January 2013 and included site visits to six finalist locations. An internal evaluation team from USA Swimming, along with a member of the USA Swimming board, visited each location and selected finalists from the group. Three finalist cities were announced at the end of March and included Omaha, Nebraska, St. Louis, Missouri and San Antonio, Texas.
In addition to reviewing the bids and making site visits, this team asked follow-up questions of each city and evaluated all information and responses before ultimately making a recommendation to Wielgus, the USA Swimming Board of Directors and the USOC.
“On behalf of the Omaha Sports Commission, the citizens and corporations of Omaha, I wish to thank USA Swimming and the USOC for having the confidence in our abilities to deliver the goods for a third consecutive Trials,” said Harold Cliff, president of the Omaha Sports Commission. We are ecstatic for the opportunity to host the world’s best swimmers in their quest to represent Team USA in Rio 2016.”
Two temporary 50-meter pools for Trials will be installed by Myrtha Pools in the CentruryLink Center Omaha, the state-of-the-art, 17,000-seat sports and entertainment venue in downtown Omaha. The convention center will once again serve as the home for the award-winning, 100,000 square-foot USA Swimming Aqua Zone, a sponsor and fan experience area.
USA Swimming is coming off a year in which it saw its most successful Trials event in history. The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming, held in Omaha, Neb., saw over 164,000 fans in attendance and the eight days of competition were broadcast LIVE on NBC television every night.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming was also nominated in the category of “Sports Event of the Year” for the illustrious Sports Business Awards. Olympic Trials is in the company of three other major sporting events, including the Ryder Cup, the Stanley Cup Finals and the United States Grand Prix. The winner will be announced next month.
Since 2004, USA Swimming has consistently expanded the reach of the Olympic Trials. Attendance numbers have soared; and the Aqua Zone, a fan and sponsor experience area, has grown to bring swimming to a wider audience.
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the National Governing Bodies and the local organizing committee