FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, October 31. In a conversation with Swimming World this morning, International Swimming Hall of Fame CEO Bruce Wigo revealed that ISHOF is indeed heavily interested in potentially calling Santa Clara its home after its contract is up in Fort Lauderdale in 2015.
Initial reporting by Bay City News and KQED in California explained some of ISHOF’s interest in relocating to the city. But, the conversation goes even deeper than the story, and Wigo states that moving to Santa Clara is not a done deal.
According to Wigo, the overarching factors that would make a successful marriage between Santa Clara and ISHOF are definitely in place. Additionally, some initial conversations have been had and have even gone so far as to include architectural renderings of a new Mecca of Swimming to be created in Santa Clara. Wigo calls the plans an Aquatic Theatre, where fans would be on top of the action in the pool.
During our conversation, Wigo checked off a litany of reasons why Santa Clara would make an ideal location for a new ISHOF facility. The history and tradition of the area is in the top echelon of all locations in the sport, as Santa Clara has produced more athletes that are currently in the Hall of Fame than any other city in the world. Santa Clara has also out-produced a host of nations as well when it comes to Hall of Fame inductees.
Wigo also believes that the Bay Area features some of the top star power in the sport, with some of the top names in swimming having local connections including Donna de Varona, Pablo Morales, Mark Spitz, Dara Torres, Missy Franklin and Nathan Adrian. Additionally, Santa Clara has a huge swimming community that would be able to embrace everything that ISHOF stands for as well as help an aquatics entertainment facility be financially sustainable.
Wigo explained that the conversations have gone fairly deep as city leaders and everyone ISHOF has contacted in the local area is on board with the vision of an all-inclusive community aquatics center that would be more than just focused on standard Olympic movement training within the sport. Wigo also is looking to energize ISHOF itself by created a completely modern educational museum, which would obviously be much easier with the access to the minds available in the Silicon Valley.
But, in the end, Wigo stated that no deal has been made, and current conversations are still in the exploratory stage with major and minor details still well away from being considered and/or finalized. However, ISHOF is definitely extremely interested in the potential of moving its world headquarters to the city.