This is the first in a series of our look at the 6 finalists to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.
San Antonio, Texas; home of the famous last-stand-at-the-Alamo, is one of the six cities in the fight to host the 2016 US Olympic Trials.
San Antonio’s bid is for The Alamodome – the facility that used to be home to the San Antonio Spurs NBA basketball team and currently houses the annual Alamo Bowl and the newly-formed UTSA football team. It would be the site of the future natatorium that would host approximately 1,200 athletes on their quest for Olympic glory.
The idea is to put the pool where the Spurs’ basketball floor was, including two warm-up pools and locker rooms. The Alamodome has never failed to provide jaw-dropping events, so San Antonio might be the city that could muster up the greatest pool.
The Alamodome opened on May 15, 1993 and since then has been an amazing venue for events in the South-Texas area. The Dome has hosted multiple sporting events, shows, and concerts including a George Strait show which set the record for 55,266 people in attendance. San Antonio has no problem hosting major events, in fact, George Block (the chairman of the board for the San Antonio sports foundation) believes that this venue will definitely fill the seats more-so than ever before in USA swimming history. Block stated, “Every event that’s been in San Antonio from the Junior Olympics to the Olympic festival to the NCAA final fours to volleyball final fours, we’ve set new records in attendance and ticket sales. We think we can do the same for USA swimming.”
San Antonio is home to one of the largest club teams in the country, the Alamo Area Aquatics Association, so they already have a built-in local partner for drumming up excitement in the country’s 7th-largest city. Of the three football facilities bidding for the meet (along with St. Louis and Indianapolis), the Alamodome would likely be the coziest atmosphere.
Block projects that San Antonio can sell 20,000 seats per day as opposed to the 14,000 that were sold in Omaha at the 2012 US Olympic Trials and 17,000 that were sold in London during the Olympic Games. If San Antonio could pull it off, it would be the most successful US Olympic Trials on record and with a growing sport it could only increase the popularity of swimming in the US that much more.