CenturyLink Center Omaha will host fourth consecutive Olympic selection event
OMAHA, Neb. – Following sustained, record-setting growth since 2008, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming will return to Omaha for the fourth consecutive occasion in 2020, USA Swimming, the United States Olympic Committee and the Omaha Sports Commission announced today.
Held every four years, the Olympic Trials rank as the most prestigious swimming event in the United States. The 2020 Olympic Trials, scheduled for June 21-28, will serve as the sole selection meet for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, which will represent Team USA in the pool competition in Tokyo, Japan. The Trials competition will again be held at the state-of-the-art CenturyLink Center Omaha.
The USA Swimming Board of the Directors approved the selection of Omaha as host city during its meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last weekend.
“Bringing the Olympic Trials back to Omaha has always been our priority, as the city of Omaha, the Omaha Sports Commission and the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority have worked diligently to make this arguably the best swimming event in the world and one of the premier events in all of sports,” USA Swimming Interim Chief Executive Officer Mike Unger said. “The CenturyLink Center Omaha venue, surrounding facilities, hotels and restaurants provide the ideal set-up for coaches and athletes from a competition perspective and also to showcase the sport to fans. Omaha has done a tremendous job welcoming our swimmers, coaches, fans and families with open arms.”
The 2016 Olympic Trials eclipsed all previous attendance marks with nearly 200,000 spectators across 15 sold-out sessions – in a 14,500 seat venue – and a 30 percent increase in tickets sold over 2012. More than 36 million television viewers watched live primetime coverage from the eight nights of Trials on NBC, and the event generated more than $74 million in economic impact for the city of Omaha.
Last summer’s Trials featured a number of memorable performances, highlighted by Michael Phelps clinching a spot on his fifth U.S. Olympic Team and Katie Ledecky winning Trials titles in three freestyle events. Buoyed by their success in Omaha, Team USA went on to win 33 total medals – 16 of them gold – at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Olympic Swim Trials back to Omaha in 2020,” said Chris Kircher, Chairman, Omaha Sports Commission. “The Swim Trials has become one of the nation’s premier sporting events, and we are honored that Omaha will, once again, provide a home base for its success. We are grateful not only for the City’s active role in helping make this happen, but also for the pledge of support that we’ve received from the County, State, private and philanthropic sources.”
“The vision of the Omaha Sports Commission has been to make Omaha a premier sports community. With established community support for amateur athletics and world-class facilities, like the CenturyLink Center Omaha, we have the unique capability of hosting large, complex events,” said Wes Hall, President, Omaha Sports Commission. “The 2020 Olympic Swim Trials will further enhance Omaha’s image as one of the nation’s great sports communities, and we want to thank USA Swimming for their long-time partnership and commitment to bring it back to Omaha."
"The City of Omaha and our citizens have shown tremendous support of the Swim Trials, the athletes, coaches and fans that come to Omaha from around the country. We’re thrilled that USA Swimming has selected Omaha for the fourth time,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “The CenturyLink Center Omaha is the ideal venue for this event, and we can’t wait for Omaha to be in the national spotlight again.”
Over the course of the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials, more than 520,000 spectators have enjoyed the country’s top swimming competition.
Once again in 2020, two temporary 50-meter pools for Trials will be installed by Myrtha Pools in the CenturyLink Center Omaha, the state-of-the-art, 17,000-seat sports and entertainment venue in downtown Omaha. The convention center will serve as the home for the award-winning, 100,000 square-foot USA Swimming Aqua Zone, a sponsor and fan experience area. More than 100,000 spectators visited the Aqua Zone in 2016, and the USA Swimming House – a hospitality hub that sold out every night – debuted last summer.
Olympic Trials by the Numbers
4 – number of times Omaha will host U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming
35 – interactive experiences at 2016 Aqua Zone
1,800 – approximate number of athletes who competed in 2016 Trials
14,500 – capacity for 2016 event, which sold out for all 15 sessions
100,000 – total number of spectators to enjoy the 2016 Aqua Zone
200,000 – attendance for the 2016 event, a new record that surpassed 2012 total by 30 percent
520,000 – number of spectators combined at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Trials at CLC Omaha
36 million – number of viewers who watched NBC’s live coverage in 2016
About U.S. Olympic Team Trials
A collaboration between the United States Olympic Committee and its National Governing Bodies, U.S. Olympic Team Trials are held in multiple sports prior to each edition of the Olympic Games and allow athletes to vie for the honor of representing Team USA. Often the last stop in an athlete’s journey to the Olympics, the Trials also offer fans an up-close experience with America’s sports heroes before they go on to compete on the world’s biggest stage. Selection procedures for each sport are developed by the NGBs in concert with the USOC and follow parameters set forth by each International Federation.
About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.
About the Omaha Sports Commission
Created in 2003, the Omaha Sports Commission is a not-for-profit entity dedicated to making Omaha one of the premier sports communities in the United States. The Commission works closely with area businesses and community leaders to recruit and promote amateur sporting events. The OSC is a “total service event team”, meaning that it is involved in all aspects of event management from bid preparation and selection to event hosting and event enhancement to post-event evaluation.