The St. Louis Sports Commission has confirmed that the city will indeed be bidding on the 2020 Olympic swimming trials, reports St. Louis Today.
St. Louis was one of three finalists for the 2016 trials, which was awarded instead to Omaha, Nebraska for the third year in a row. Commission President Frank Viverito says, “From what I understand we finished second to Omaha in the last bid process. The setup in Omaha mirrors what we have. The only difference is an arena opposed to a dome. If they’re looking for the same setup in a more spacious, versatile venue, then St. Louis would be perfect.”
St. Louis’ bid will offer several different seating capacities resulting in as many as 200,000 fans being able to be physically present watching the trials. Two Olympic pools, one in a dome and one potentially in the convention space accessible from the dome, would require installation. St. Louis Today reports that the city’s Fire Department and engineering experts “have conducted tests that have determined the floor of the facility can hold the weight of the pools, about 660,000 gallons of water each. That’s more than five million pounds of water per pool.”
The bid is due this spring, with a decision possibly being announced before the 2016 trials. “It’s on such a grand scale and gets so much national attention,” Viverito said. “It hits all the targets. It’s men’s and women’s competition. It’s a dream event for us. It’s the biggest Olympic event we could produce.”