Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Olympic Swim Trials Go to Omaha

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Olympic Swim Trials Go to Omaha

Article excerpt

St. Louis lost out to Omaha, Neb., on Saturday in its bid to host the 2016 Olympic swimming trials, and it may well have been a case of bigger not being better.

Though the St. Louis Sports Commission hasn't heard specifics yet on the decision, it's likely that one of the things that led to U.S. Swimming returning to Nebraska for the third straight time for its marquee event is because the site there, CenturyLink Center Omaha, seats 18,975, creating an intimate atmosphere for the meet. St. Louis' bid, meanwhile, consisted of putting two temporary pools inside the Edward Jones Dome, which would be downsized for the event to about 19,000, but still would have the vast open spaces inherent in a domed stadium. The other of the three finalists, San Antonio, also had a bid featuring a dome.

"We couldn't shrink the Dome," said Frank Viverito, head of the St. Louis Sports Commission, which handled the bid, "but we presented it as intimate as we possibly could. Every step of feedback we got was so incredibly positive, but also we know it's not unusual to have to go back for an event a second time before you win it. We came from so far back in the pack, not having bid for the event ever before (and being one of the three finalists), we feel good about the work we did.

"It's always hard when you don't win, but when the decision is understandable, the process is fair, and you know what a great job the winning city has done with the event in the past I've been there both times and knew how high the bar was set we absolutely feel like we were doing everything we possibly could. If the decision is they're not ready to move to a significantly larger facility, we respect that decision. We love the event and will certainly be interested in it in the future."

If there's a bright side to not getting the swim trials, it's that it will allow St. Louis to bid for the gymnastics trials. The swimming and gymnastics trials go on at the same time, so it would have been impossible for one city to host both. …

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