by USATF Communications
May 1, 2018
LRC update: The USATF press-release below does not make it clear, but Mt. SAC is OUT as the Olympic Trials host. Mt. SAC issued a lengthy statement that says in part, “Mt. San Antonio College was recently informed that it will no longer host the 2020 USA Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field and that the USATF would reopen bidding for a new event venue.” Full statement from Mt. SAC here. From reading the USATF press release below, we assumed Mt. SAC would still be under consideration for 2020, but Mt. SAC does not think that is the case. Although, Ken Stone of the Times of San Diego writes Mt. SAC president Williams Scroggins “said the Mt. SAC Local Organizing Committee is ready to execute its plans to host the 2020 event should USATF reconsider its decision.” More from Times of San Diego here.
Scott Reid of the Orange County Register notes that Mt. Sac says it was blindsided by the decision, that it’s stadium will be ready by 2020, and that neither Max Siegel or anyone on the Board delivered them the news.
USATF Press Release:
INDIANAPOLIS – Bidding to host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field has been reopened, USATF announced Tuesday. The USATF Board of Directors unanimously authorized the move amid continuing litigation surrounding construction of a new Hilmer Lodge Stadium at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) in Walnut, California, and the resulting delays on planning for a successful 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
The USATF Board awarded the Olympic Trials to Mt. SAC last June. A key portion of the bid was a new stadium on the campus of Mt. SAC. In August, USATF first learned of two lawsuits seeking to halt construction of the stadium: one between the City of Walnut and Mt. SAC and a second, between United Walnut Taxpayers (UWT), a group of local citizens and Mt. SAC. The first lawsuit was settled in April, but the second has yet to be resolved.
With bidding reopened, the USATF Board of Directors will look to re-award the Olympic Trials no later than this June.
LRC Quick Take: When the Trials were announced last summer, Eugene’s new stadium for the 2021 World Championships was still facing a lot of uncertainties. However, now a design has been released for the new Hayward Field with completion stated for the 2020 track season. The Mt. Sac lawsuit (singular- we see no point in mentioning the settled lawsuit.) may have given USATF the pretext to reconsider using Eugene. However, ground has not been broken on the new Hayward Field (it has on Mt. Sac) and Eugene 2021 so far has been behind all of it stated dates on the new stadium. So the two front runners- Mt. Sac and Eugene both have stadium issues. The other finalist for the 2020 Trials was Sacramento.
Update: The Trial date for the remaining Mt. Sac lawsuit is not until January 2019.
LRC Quick Take: The other 2020 Olympic Trials finalists were Sacramento and Eugene. There is a group of Eugene preservationists fighting the new Hayward Field, but Eugene is still the front-runner in our mind. We have no idea why USATF mentioned a settled lawsuit as a reason for why it would re-open the Olympic Trials bidding.