There are a lot of impressive swimming facilities across this country. Colleges use them to lure in recruits, and School Districts use them to attract business to the local economy (which is code for “to satisfy a boisterous swimming population”). Many of these facilities are follies that have to be subsidized for years. The quality of the facility is not always directly correlated to its usefulness and density of use. At some level, it takes a lot of hustling and effort by the natatorium’s staff to satisfy the lofty expectations of these mega-pools.
The Greensboro Aquatic Center, in its short time in existence, has done well to live up to those expectations, despite what was a very controversial beginning with the local taxpayers, to say the least.
After landing the 2012 YMCA National Championships and the 2012 Masters Short Course Nationals, which will combine to bring thousands of visitors to the Greensboro Area in 2012.
Today, the Greensboro Colliseum complex has announced that the brand new GAC will also host the 2013, 2014, and 2016 ACC Championships. The facility is equipped with 1,848 spectator seats (in addition to athlete seating) and a 50-yard pool with two separate 25-yard pools. Certainly more than sufficient to host a meet of even a large conference like the ACC.
Greensboro is close mates with the ACC, as the city has hosted the ACC men’s basketball tournament 23 times, so this move comes as no surprise. The GAC marketing staff, supported by the larger infrastructure of the Greensboro Colliseum, has done a phenomenal job of marketing itself and attracting these large-scale meets that will (hopefully) begin to justify the costs.
What I really love about this GAC is its operational business model. Its tied to a larger center with eons of experience in running large-scale sporting events and has the knowledge, experience, and resources to put together fantastic events, and to do so with efficient economies of scale. If they can continue to draw in big-time events like this, then this pool has a bright future.