Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time for USATF to Bid for the World Championships

The early exit of Chicago as a bid city for the 2016 Games means that there will not be Olympic level track and field in the United States until at least 2020 - and that's only if the USOC decides to submit an application for a bid city.

While most of the country is still either crying over spilled milk or trying to figure out who to blame for Chicago's failure, I look at things a bit differently. Because every time a door closes it simply creates another opportunity elsewhere.

That would be for USATF to put together it's own plan and bid to host the World Championships here in the Untied States. After all, after a quarter century and a dozen editions later, we still have yet to host the World's largest track meet - and that is a travesty bigger than Chicago's failure to land the Olympics in my humble opinion!

So perhaps Mr. Logan can take some of that energy that was used to put together a committee to figure out why we didn't win enough medals in Beijing (and now Berlin) and perhaps put together a "task force" or committee, or whatever route he would like to take, to put together a bid for the World Championships. If Daegu can do it, surely we can find a suitable city here in the United States capable of pulling off the feat!

As a matter of fact, I would suggest that USATF try to work with the USOC to perhaps put together a plan whereby we look to develop a bid city that could start by hosting the World Championships, while being developed towards submission of a bid for the Games themselves! The idea being to find a location that can "start small" by hosting the World Championships of the Games' central sport, while developing the rest of the infrastructure necessary to host the Games themselves. Thus when the Olympic bid is submitted there is a "history" of world class activity that can be utilized in the bid presentation.

For example, a San Francisco Olympic bid could be predicated by hosting the World Championships in a facility like Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. The Berkeley facility could then be developed with the goal of becoming the central location in an Olympic Park for the San Francisco Bay Area.

I start with Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay area because surprisingly, it has the largest seating capacity of all of our track stadiums here in the US with 22,000 seats! Next in line would be the Home Depot Center at 20,000 and after that the drop is huge. So we have some work to do in that area.

But whatever needs to be done, should be done, as it makes no sense that the world's largest track power has yet to host it's signature meet. Nor does it make any sense that we should have difficulty doing so. It's time to rectify that situation, as well as an opportunity to become a leader here in the US outside of track and field. An opportunity that could help change the perception of the sport here in this country. Time for USATF to step up and take a leadership role in the sport.

No comments:

Post a Comment