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Wrap-up: LONG BEACH AQUATIC FESTIVAL “The Largest Aquatic Event in North American History!” -- September 5, 2004

LONG BEACH, Calif., September 5. THIS summer, Long Beach took a big step of faith in the interest that could be generated in aquatic competition of all kinds. Last month the organizers put out a release declaring the effort a “huge success” and summarizing some of the more interesting aspects of their Summer of Aquatics. SwimInfo shares some of the more interesting portions with you now.

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RECORD BREAKING CROWDS GRACE CHARTER ALL DIGITAL AQUATIC CENTRE DURING LONG BEACH AQUATIC FESTIVAL
The Long Beach Aquatic Festival can be regarded as one of the most successful events in the history of the city, and has brought a new awareness of what Long Beach has to offer. Record breaking attendance during the five week, five-event Festival has broadened the horizons for residents and tourist’s alike, as record breaking attendance at each event has given Long Beach much exposure.

The Janet Evans Invitational (June 10-13), which is usually held at USC in Los Angeles, kicked off the Festival and made a big splash by breaking the attendance record for that particular meet, with close to 10,000 fans in attendance over the four days of competition.

The crowd on the last day of Women’s FINA World League Super Finals (June 23-27) was the largest crowd to watch an international women’s water polo game on U.S. soil, with a total attendance of 11,129, while the Men’s FINA World League Super Finals (July 16-18) floated in 13,659 fans. Each day set a new record for the most spectators to take in a non-Olympic international water polo game (men’s or women’s) in the United States.
In the history of the Games, only the 1996 and 1988 Olympics have drawn more.

Attendance totals for the US Olympic Team Trials-Swimming (July7-14) not only broke the record for past Trials, but shattered the records for any swim competition ever before. With 10,000 seats at the Charter All Digital Aquatic Centre, the Trials managed to sell-out one night (with a total of 10, 016, additional seats needed to be released), and reach record breaking numbers nearly every other night.

SEVERAL SWIMMERS AT US OLYMPIC TRIALS BREAK RECORDS, REPEATEDLY
Former Olympic gold medalist Mark Spitz said it best in a press conference during the US Olympic Team Trials-Swimming when he simply stated, “Records are meant to be broken.”

A total of 27 records were broken, including five world records, 10 American records and 12 US Open records. Some of the swimmers who broke records in multiple events are Michael Phelps (400IM, 200 Fly), Aaron Peirsol (200 Back, 100 Back), Brendan Hansen (100 Breast, 200 Breast) and Amanda Beard (200 Breast, 200IM).

"People came here to see great international swimmers and Olympic-quality competition and left with the satisfaction of seeing several record-setting performances.” said Beth White, Chief Operating Officer of the Long Beach Aquatic Festival.

World records:
Peirsol, Aaron - Male - Age: 20 - Irvine Novaquatics-CA
Men 200 Back 1:54.74
Hansen, Brendan - Male - Age: 22 - Longhorn Aquatic
Men 100 Breast 59.30
Men 200 Breast 2:09.04
Crocker, Ian - Male - Age: 21 - Longhorn Aquatic
Men 100 Fly 50.76
Phelps, Michael - Male - Age: 19 - North Baltimore-MD
Men 400 IM 4:08.41
Beard, Amanda - Female - Age: 22 - Tucson Ford Deal-AZ
Women 200 Breast 2:22.44
American records:
Keller, Klete - Male - Age: 22 - Club Wolverine-MI
Men 400 Free 3:44.19
Lezak, Jason - Male - Age: 28 - Irvine Novaquatics-CA
Men 100 Free 48.17
Jensen, Larsen - Male - Age: 18 - Mission Viejo Nadadores-CA
Men 1500 Free 14:56.71
Peirsol, Aaron - Male - Age: 20 - Irvine Novaquatics-CA
Men 200 Back 1:54.74
Hansen, Brendan - Male - Age: 22 - Longhorn Aquatic
Men 100 Breast 1:00.13sf
Men 100 Breast 59.30
Men 200 Breast 2:09.04
Crocker, Ian - Male - Age: 21 - Longhorn Aquatic
Men 100 Fly 50.76
Phelps, Michael - Male - Age: 19 - North Baltimore-MD
Men 400 IM 4:08.41
Beard, Amanda - Female - Age: 22 - Tucson Ford Deal-AZ
Women 200 Breast 2:22.44
US Open records:
Lezak, Jason - Male - Age: 28 - Irvine Novaquatics-CA
Men 100 Free 48.17
Keller, Klete - Male - Age: 22 - Club Wolverine-MI
Men 400 Free 3:44.19
Peirsol, Aaron - Male - Age: 20 - Irvine Novaquatics-CA
Men 100 Back 53.64
Peirsol, Aaron - Male - Age: 20 - Irvine Novaquatics-CA
Men 200 Back 1:54.74
Hansen, Brendan - Male - Age: 22 - Longhorn Aquatic
Men 100 Breast 59.30
Men 200 Breast 2:09.04
Crocker, Ian - Male - Age: 21 - Longhorn Aquatic
Men 100 Fly 50.76
Phelps, Michael - Male - Age: 19 - North Baltimore-MD
Men 200 Fly 1:54.31
Phelps, Michael - Male - Age: 19 - North Baltimore-MD
Men 400 IM 4:08.41
Beard, Amanda - Female - Age: 22 - Tucson Ford Deal-AZ
Women 200 Breast 2:22.44
Beard, Amanda - Female - Age: 22 - Tucson Ford Deal-AZ
Women 200 IM 2:12.02
Hoff, Katie - Female - Age: 15 - North Baltimore-MD
Women 400 IM 4:37.67

CHARTER ALL DIGITAL AQUATIC CENTRE POOLS PACKING UP AND
HEADING FOR NEW HOMES

The temporary, above-ground Myrtha pool proved to be as fast as advertised right from the start of the Long Beach Aquatic Festival, as records fell continuously at both the Janet Evans Invitational and the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.

Both the competition and warm-up pools were purchased for post-event use, and will be delivered to their permanent locations immediately. The pools will be bicoastal, with the competition pool going to Yucaipa, Calif. and the warm-up pool being sent to Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

"We had hoped for a fast pool, but this exceeded our expectations," White said.

Construction began May 4, 2004 and took a month to set-up, just in time for the Janet Evans Invitational. Less than two months after the festival’s events are over, all 1.4 million gallons of water (combined) are emptied and the Charter All Digital Aquatic Centre will transform back into a parking lot for the Long Beach Arena.

MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN MEDIA COVERAGE PLACES SPOTLIGHT ON CITY OF LONG BEACH AND THE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
More than 100,000 tickets for the Long Beach Aquatic Festival were sold, bringing the economic impact on Long Beach to an estimated $15 million. Meanwhile, 300 media members were present for the Trials (July 7-14, 2004), and in total produced 92,000 articles that made mention of all the events.

NBC’s six-hour national airing of the Trials projected more than $65 million, which altogether, put Long Beach on a larger map.
Long Beach received high accolades in national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, citing the festival as a way other cities across the country could consider marketing themselves.

Local hotels, businesses and restaurants also benefited from the crowds brought in by the Festival. “Our job is to promote tourism and to market the city, and we look at this a long-term investment,” said Steve Goodling, CVB President and Chief Executive Officer.