Wielgus Proposes Creation of U.S. National Swim Center -- July 26, 2002
COLORADO SPRINGS, July 26. CHUCK Wielgus, Executive Director of USA Swimming, has proposed the creation of a U.S. National Swim Center, located in a warm, safe environment, that would serve as a world-class competition venue for major competitions held in the United States.
As Wielgus envisions it, the facility would be "somewhat modeled after the National Tennis Center in New York,"and "be constructed with the needs of spectators, television, media and corporate sponsors in mind."
Here is Wielgus' proposal:
U. S. NATIONAL SWIM CENTER
By Chuck Wielgus
This document is a preliminary "discussion paper" intended to begin the process of sharing the idea of a National Swim Center for the purpose of stimulating discussion and feedback on the concept. I invite comments and will utilize the input I receive to further develop and expand upon this idea. This is a starting point…. And perhaps a new and exciting journey has begun.
The idea of a National Swim Center has been on my long-term "idea board" for several years now. I envision a venue complex somewhat modeled after the National Tennis Center in New York and the PGA Tournament Clubs located at various sites around the country. It would feature a main swim stadium that would be specifically designed to host major aquatic competitions, and be constructed with the needs of spectators, television, media and corporate sponsors in mind. It would be a world-class competition facility and entertainment venue; a physical focal point for our sport in much the same way that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Yankee Stadium and Churchill Downs are icon venues for their sports.
To establish America’s "signature" venue for competitive swimming, a facility that will become the home for the U.S Olympic Team Trials, the annual USA Swimming National Championships and other major competitions.
BENEFITS TO USA SWIMMING:
• Permanent home for the U. S. Olympic Team Trials and USA Swimming National Championships.
• Host location for U. S. National Team Training Camps.
• Host location for national age group "select" camps.
• Host location for special events, including use by other national aquatic organizations such as the NCAA, YMCA, Masters Swimming, NISCA, etc.
• Possibly proposal as a permanent home for the NCAA Swimming Championships, à la the College World Series in Omaha , Nebraska.
• A spectator-friendly facility that will help USA Swimming better market and promote the sport.
• A sponsor-friendly venue that will enhance USA Swimming’s base of assets and create new sponsorships opportunities.
• Warm-weather city… pleasant, safe environment.
• Ability to accommodate indoor and outdoor facilities
• Plenty of space for large pool decks, locker rooms, meeting rooms, concessions, parking, etc.
• Close proximity to hotels, restaurants and entertainment.
• Close proximity to airport.
• 50- meter main "swim stadium," with permanent seating for at least 2,500 people and the ability for portable seating to accommodate up to 6,000.
• 50-meter practice pool
• 25-meter x 25-yard practice pool.
• Outdoor facilities lighted for night use.
• Spacious locker rooms, maintenance and storage areas.
• Meeting and function rooms, office space, permanent press room, hospitality areas, concession areas & outdoors café space, etc.
• Large, attractive display areas for trophies, photographs, exhibits, video kiosks, etc.
• Large, permanent scoreboard.
• Large permanent record board.
• State-of-the-art sound system.
FINANCIAL,OWNERSHIP & OPERATIONAL ELEMENTS
• Ideally, USA Swimming seeks to own and have complete operational control over the National Swim Center.
• Possible funding/equity partnership could be considered with a host city, educational institution, corporate partner, etc.
• Significant opportunities exist to establish quantifiable benefits for a host city and/or host partners.
• USA Swimming cannot be exposed to significant financial risk.
• Both capital and operations funds must be adequately secured.