COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, April 26. OMAHA will host the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials for a third consecutive time, as the largest city in Nebraska was announced as the host of the 2016 edition in a live webcast by USA Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee today.
Omaha was one of three cities in the running for the honor of hosting the largest swim meet in the United States, with an attendance of more than 100,000 each in 2008 and 2012. St. Louis and San Antonio were also considered by USA Swimming for hosting duties, both of whom would have hosted the meet for the first time.
The announcement was made after a video presentation of each of the candidate cities by USA Swimming President Bruce Stratton this afternoon from the USA Swimming board of directors meeting. Also in attendance was USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus and USA Swimming Assistant Executive Director Mike Unger. The vote was unanimous by the board of directors today, about a week after the USA Swimming committee made its choice and presented it to Wielgus and Stratton.
In talking with Swimming World after the announcement, Unger mentioned the word “convenient” often when speaking of the criteria that went into selecting the best host city. Airport, hotel and restaurant locations were closer to the CenturyLink Center than those for the other two cities, Unger said.
“We wanted to take risks, but we wanted to take wise risks,” Unger said. “In the end, there were more checked boxes for Omaha than any other city.”
Last week, Omaha Sports Commission Sports Commission President Harold Cliff talked about his plans for the 2016 edition with Jeff Commings on “The Morning Swim Show,” saying not much would change at the CenturyLink Center in 2016, aside from a few small modifications.
The date of the 2016 Olympic Trials has not yet been set by USA Swimming, and the organization will have to consider the timing the meet with the College World Series, which took place in Omaha at the same time as the 2012 Trials. Time standards typically are released two years before the event.