Indianapolis out of running to host 2016 Olympic swim trials

IUPUI Natatorium

The City of Indianapolis will not get the chance to host the 2016 US Olympic Team swimming trials. USA Swimming notified Indiana Sports Corp. of the news Tuesday.

Indianapolis has hosted the meet six times, most recently in 2000 at the IUPUI Natatorium. In December 2012, Indiana Sports Corp. told USA Swimming it was interested in hosting the trials again.

Instead of the Natatorium, which is in need of renovations, the proposal was to host the event at Lucas Oil Stadium to accommodate two 50-meter pools and a crowd of at least 15,000 (although the stadium has a larger capacity than that.)

While Indianapolis built a temporary pool at then-Conseco Fieldhouse in 2004 for the World Swimming Championships, it was a short course or 25-meter pool. The Olympic trials require two 50-meter pools, something the Fieldhouse could not accommodate.

But USA Swimming said Lucas Oil Stadium proved to be too large a venue for the kind of atmosphere organizers are aiming for.

"For several decades, Indianapolis has proven to be one of our most successful host cities, and we were excited that the City put forth interest to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming at Lucas Oil Stadium," said Mike Unger, USA Swimming Assistant Executive Director. "USA Swimming has enjoyed an excellent partnership with Indiana Sports Corp, working hand-in-hand with them on many events. We look forward to that partnership continuing with future events. The environment for the athletes at Olympic Trials is the highest priority of the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming. Lucas Oil Stadium is a fabulous facility and while the space is flexible to accommodate a number of sports and events other than football, it has proven to be challenging for creating an intimate swimming setting around the pool at this time."

"We are obviously disappointed that we will not host the Olympic Swimming Trials, and we would like to thank our great partner USA Swimming for the way they have handled this bid process and communicating this decision to us," said Allison Melangton, Indiana Sports Corp President. "We believe our City and State are uniquely positioned to host a wide range of events better than our competitors throughout the country. With that comes the realization that we will not win 100 percent of the events we bid for, but we will continue to identify events that provide great opportunity for Indiana and aggressively pursue them. We know how much athletes and fans enjoy the Indianapolis experience and we look forward in particular to hosting the nation's top swimmers this June for the 2013 World Championship Trials."

In addition to the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials (June 25-29 at the IU Natatorium on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis), the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's and Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will take place at the Natatorium March 21-23 and March 28-30, respectively.