SBD/Issue 198/Events & Attractions

USA Swimming Officials Pleased With Trials Attendance In Omaha

U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials At Qwest
Center In Omaha Drawing Crowds
The U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials at the 14,556-seat Qwest Center in Omaha have drawn at least 12,000 fans to each of the four evening sessions, and the four-day, eight-session total attendance is 87,007, according to Rich Kaipust of the Omaha WORLD-HERALD. The trials, which conclude Sunday, on Wednesday drew 12,197 fans, and roughly between 450-750 walk-up tickets are being purchased each session. U.S. Trials Chair and Omaha Sports Commission Chair Harley Schrager: "While we optimistically hoped and thought we might have a complete sellout, I think we're still optimistic that we may for the Friday and Saturday nights." Schrager said that with a $5M budget, "about 145,000 tickets needed to be sold, and that figure was around 136,000" when the swimming trials began last Sunday. Schrager: "It's too great of an event to lose money. ... When we break even or make a few dollars, I think that says a lot about the way we manage an event." Attendance at the trials "easily will surpass" the U.S. trials record of 106,000 set in '04 in Long Beach. USA Swimming Exec Dir Chuck Wielgus said that USA Swimming is "ecstatic so far with the attendance." Further, U.S. Trials COO Harold Cliff said that coaches "have told him that they appreciate the atmosphere that's been provided for athletes" (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 7/3).

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