St. Louis Plans To Bid Again on 2020 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

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.”

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After 2008, 2012, 2016 in Omaha…please anyplace but Omaha again. I’ve toyed with taking a vacation to watch trials, but am waiting for someplace that’s more enticing. 2004 was in Long Beach, which would be a great vacation. But Omaha? Please no….


Omaha has been a wonderful host the last two trials and I am sure it will be again in 2016. That being said, as a spectator, I would like to see the 2020 awarded to a different location, if for nothing more than diversity sake.


660,000 gallons? That’s a pretty dubious number. A nearby 50m x 25y x 7-8 foot depth pool has 735,000 gallons. FINA-class pools should be 50m x 25m x 10″. I’m going to assume approximately 1M or more gallons. So, this estimate underestimates the weight of the pool by some 240,000lbs (~8lb/gallon).

Yes but the water they use at Trials is a special, lightweight water to create less drag and allow for faster times.


660,000 gallons is about right.

a FINA class pool is 50mx20mx2m depth (on average).
Which is 2,500 cubic metres.
Which is 2,500,000 litres (1 cubic metre = 1,000 litre).

Now, 1 litre = 0,264 US gallons

so, 2,500,000 litre = 2,500,000 x 0,264 gallons = around 660,400 gallons.

But don’t trust me, I only studied engineering.


A FINA-class pool is 50mx25mx3m (10 lanes wide, 10 feet deep). USAS swimming specifically chose Omaha because they could promise a 3m depth, while other arenas couldn’t.

My pool is 53m (bulkheads) x 25y (22.82m) x 7-8 feet, and 735,000 gallons. Smaller and shallower. But don’t trust me, I’m only the facility director.

Perhaps that 660k figure is for the warm-up pool on the floor of a convention center, as at Omaha. No need for that to be 2m deep or 10 lanes wide.

The warmup tank is far bigger than the competition tank. Both are 10L wide, but the warmup tank has an extra 4 lanes that are 25m…

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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