The International Swimming League (ISL) has finally revealed its newest meet calendar, including dates and locations for the 2019 season. We anticipated a scaled-back schedule from the one originally announced in London in December, where the plan was still for 12 teams, but the season has now been reduced to 6 regular season meets and 1 championship meet in Las Vegas.
That means that many teams won’t be hosting an event, as was originally planned.
The facilities have also become more geographically divergent than team names would suggest. In Europe, there are teams in Budapest, and in Italy, and in London, that will be hosting meets; however, in the US, meets will be held in Indianapolis, a suburb of Dallas, and Maryland. The Maryland team is geographically close to Kaitlin Sandeno‘s DC Trident club; however, the other 3 clubs are based out of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City: which are not close to either Indianapolis or Texas.
“This year we had to choose venues in the US that could support our production requirements, including a certain audience capacity, and having an indoor pool,” ISL programme development director Dmytro Kachurovskyi said of the choices of hosts. “Following our first season, we intend for every team to play host to their competitions in their home cities.”
Update: The ISL website lists new competition dates as of early September. We’ve updated this story to reflect the new dates:
- Indianapolis, IN, USA – October 5-6
- Naples, Italy, Europe – October 12-13
- Lewisville, TX, USA – October 19-20
- Budapest, Hungary, Europe – October 26-27
- College Park, MD, USA – November 16-17
- London, England, Europe – November 23-24
- Las Vegas, NV, USA – December 20-21
The U.S-based meets will take place at 2:00 PM local time and the finals in Las Vegas at 1:00 PM local time.
The schedule runs every weekend in October, sometimes on Friday-Saturday and sometimes on Saturday-Sunday. There’s a two-week gap early in November before two more consecutive weekends, and then about a month gap to the league championship in December.
UPDATE: Here’s which teams will compete in each meet:
|GROUP A||GROUP B||DERBIES||FINALS|
|DATE||October 5-6, 2019||October 19-20, 2019||November 16-17, 2019||December 20-21, 2019|
|LOCATION||INDIANAPOLIS, IN||LEWISVILLE – DALLAS, TX||WASHINGTON, DC||LAS VEGAS, NV|
|TEAMS||Cali Condors||LA Current||Cali Condors||US Team|
|DC Trident||New York Breakers||DC Trident||US Team|
|Aqua Centurions||Team Iron||LA Current||European Team|
|Energy Standard||London Roar||New York Breakers||European Team|
|DATE||October 12-13, 2019||October 26-27, 2019||November 23-24, 2019|
|LOCATION||NAPLES, ITALY||BUDAPEST, HUN||LONDON, GBR|
|TEAMS||Aqua Centurions||Team Iron||Aqua Centurions|
|Energy Standard||London Roar||Energy Standard|
|Cali Condors||LA Current||Team Iron|
|DC Trident||New York Breakers||London Roar|
Here’s a more full description of the venues, from the ISL press release:
- October 4-5 – IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI, 901 West New York Street, Indianapolis, IN. The Natatorium has been a fixture in the community since 1982 and has hosted hundreds of state, regional, national, and international events along with providing aquatic programming to IUPUI and the surrounding communities. The Natatorium has held 13 Olympic Trial events and has a total seating capacity of 4800.
- October 12-13 – Piscina Felice Scandone, Via Giochi del Mediterraneo, 80, Naples. In 1963, when the pool was built, the complex hosted the fourth Mediterranean Games. Reconstructed in 2019, the complex will host the University Games this summer, which is the second largest multi-sport event in the world. With two 50-meter swimming pools, it is used for numerous events, including swimming, and water polo, having hosted five Championship League finals. The seating capacity is 3,000.
- October 18-19 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, 1750 Duncan Ln, Lewisville, Texas. Located just outside Dallas, this aquatic center has a total seating capacity of 1200. There is also a concession area with views of the pool, in addition to a warm-up and cool down pool, and a diving pool.
- October 26-27 – Duna Aréna, 1135 Budapest, Népfürdő u. 36, Hungary. Recently reconstructed, the world-class complex features two Olympic sized pools, including a three-meter deep competition pool and a warm-up pool. Total seating capacity is approximately 5,000. The arena hosted the swimming world championship in 2017.
- November 15-16 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, 4128 Valley Drive, College Park, Maryland. Located just outside Washington, D.C., the state-of-the-art facility is comprised of an Olympic sized competition pool with one meter and two-meter diving boards, a 25 meter x 25 yard Instructional pool, dry sauna, and steam room. The total seating capacity (including the pool deck and stands) is 2700.
- November 23-24 – London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2ZQ. The striking building, located in Stratford, is an indoor facility with three 50-meter swimming pools and a 25 meter diving pool. It’s state of the art facilities also include a 50-station gym, a dry diving facility for athletes of all levels and a cafe. The aquatic center hosted the swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised swimming, Paralympic swimming and the swim leg of the modern pentathlon during the London 2012 Olympics. Since then, it has hosted a number of high-profile events including Sport Relief and, most recently, the Diving World Series. Later this year the World Para Swimming Championships will be held at the London Aquatics Centre. The seating capacity is 2,800.
- December 20-21 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada. A pop-up 25-meter pool will be created in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, a 12,000-seat multi-purpose arena, to celebrate the International Swimming League finals. The Events Center is currently home to the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, as well as the site for a variety of events including world championship boxing and many prominent concerts. Future shows include New Kids on the Block, Alejandro Fernandez, Pentatonix and Jojo Siwa while past performers have included Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, and Alicia Keys, among others.
Speaking on behalf of the league, Jason Lezak, General Manager of Cali Condors, says, “We are thrilled to introduce professional swimming to a new generation of sports fans, bringing them face to face with these incredible competitors.”
Natalie Taylor, Aquatics Director of University Recreation & Wellness at University of Maryland, says, “We are excited to welcome athletes and spectators to the Eppley Recreation Center on the campus of the University of Maryland for the inaugural International Swim League. Our large swimming community is ready to embrace all of the athletes and look forward to cheering on some very fast swimmers.”
The team at IU Natatorium says, “We are thrilled to be selected as one of the sites of the International Swimming League‘s inaugural season. It’s our belief that we have the best combination of aquatic facility, accommodations, food, volunteers, and hospitality right here in central Indiana. We look forward to collaborating with our local swimming community, Indianapolis, ISL staff, and local vendors to provide a great event for all involved.”
“Swimming is the most watched sport at the Olympic Games and we expect the ISL will generate nation-wide engagement which will lead to long-term sustainability not just for the league, but for the entire sport of swimming,” says Paris Jacobs, COO of the American Swimming Coaches Association and ISL management consultant.
SwimSwam note: Although the majority of the European-based teams have been announced, the U.S. teams of the ISL have been hush-hush. We’ve been teased the rosters will be revealed ‘shortly’, so watch this space.