Quote Of The Day
“No domestic event is more important to athletes and fans than the Olympic Trials,” said USA Track & Field chairman of the board Steve Miller, a former director of global sports marketing for The Swoosh and former adjunct professor at the University of Oregon Warsaw School of Sports Marketing. “The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials is even more critical because it will lead off an unprecedented opportunity to elevate track & field in this country.”
Look: USA Track & Field has had numerous opportunities to elevate the sport of track and field in this country over the years—this will be the fourth-straight Trials Eugene has hosted—and it’s come up short more times than I can count. So will someone please explain to me how bringing its most important domestic event (Miller’s words, not mine) back to the same tiny town that’s hosted more Olympic Trials than any other city in the history of the meet is going to yield a different result in 2020?
Don’t get me wrong, TrackTown, USA has deep roots, a rabid fanbase, and knows how to host a meet—and sure, it will have a fancy new facility for the event (then again, Mt. SAC would have too) and the streets around the stadium will be abuzz from beginning to end—but it’s not exactly a mass media market, isn’t the easiest place to get to, and has a shortage of good places to stay. Hosting the 2020 Trials in Eugene isn’t going to elevate track and field in this country. But it will make a bunch of folks who work just up the road in Beaverton happy, which is what really matters most to our sport’s governing body anyway.
–Mario Fraioli writing in his weekly email “the morning shakeout” (sign up to receive it here) with his take on the 2020 US Olympic Trials going to Eugene. We have a similar take in our Week That Was recap. Our belief is that USAs, particularly in years like 2018, 2022, should almost always go to Eugene but the Olympic Trials should rarely go there.
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