INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 19. INDIANAPOLIS will not have the opportunity to bring the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials back to the Hoosier State, as the Indianapolis Star is reporting via Twitter that the city is no longer in the running to host the 2016 meet.
RT @jimlefko: Indy won't host 2016 Olympic swimming trials. Lucas Oil not deemed an intimate enough setting for swimming.
— Indianapolis Star (@indystar) March 19, 2013
Though Indianapolis had hosted the Olympic Trials on four occasions (1984, 1992, 1996, 2000) at the IU Natatorium, USA Swimming's decision to expand the Trials venue to include more spectator seating meant a new location that could house more than the 4,700-person capacity of the IU Natatorium.
To that end, Indianapolis had submitted a bid for the 2016 Trials with the expectation that Lucas Oil Stadium would have the capability to house the 50-meter competition pool and a similar warm-up pool in the building. But, reports indicate that the facility is not adequate for USA Swimming's needs, and the organization informed the Indiana Sports Corporation that they would be removed from the list of finalists.
“Lucas Oil Stadium is a fabulous facility and while the space is flexible to accommodate a number of sports and events other than football, it has proven to be challenging for creating an intimate swimming setting around the pool at this time,” said USA Swimming Assistant Executive Director Mike Unger.
USA Swimming has been conducting site visits for the six finalists for the 2016 Trials. Recently, Jacksonville, Fla., withdrew from the running for the same reason, saying their venue is too small for Trials.
That leaves Greensboro, N.C.; Omaha, Neb.; St. Louis and San Antonio in the running. The winning city will be named in late April.
Indianapolis will still be a hub for fast swimming in the very, very near future. Despite reports of an armed gunman on the IUPUI campus, the Women's NCAA Division I swimming and diving championships is scheduled to begin at the IU Natatorium Thursday, with the men to follow next week. In May, United States Masters Swimming will host its spring short course nationals, followed by USA Swimming's world championship team selection trials at “The Nat” in June. The National Club Swimming Association will also bring a long course junior nationals to the venue in July.