SARASOTA, Florida, May 15. IN an interview conducted today for Friday’s episode of “The Morning Swim Show,” U.S. Masters Swimming executive director Rob Butcher said the organization will not be able to host the 2016 long course nationals in the Qwest Center immediately after the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.
“The Qwest Center … can rent their facility for more dollars than we can pay,” Butcher told Morning Swim Show host Jeff Commings. “We’ve worked with USA Swimming to look on both the front end and looked at other options, but Omaha is not going to be an option.”
USMS paid more than $170,000 to secure the Qwest Center for the week after Olympic Trials in 2012, holding the nationals in the same pool where Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin and others had just qualified for the Olympic team. Shortly after that meet, Butcher said he hoped to secure the building that would host the 2016 Trials, as the 2012 meet enjoyed one of the largest attendance numbers for a long course nationals in many years.
Though the spectator area was filled to capacity each night at the Olympic Trials in 2012, only about a third of the seats were used during Masters nationals, and admission for spectators was free. Butcher said USMS is exploring options “near Omaha” for the 2016 nationals, but did not list those potential cities.
Watch the full interview with Butcher on tomorrow’s episode of The Morning Swim Show! And let us know where USMS should hold the long course nationals in 2016 by commenting in our Reaction Time section below!