San Antonio is currently one of six other U.S. cities being considered to host the 2016 Olympic Team Trials for swimming, and USA Swimming was here to tour the Alamodome as part of the bid city evaluation period.
"For us, it would be taking the event up a notch to a different level from a spectator standpoint, with the number of seats we'd be able to have," said Mike Unger, Assistant Executive Director, USA Swimming. "We've not been in a dome or a football stadium before, but we're certainly very interested in that and want to consider that very strongly."
The group seemed pleased overall with the Alamodome and its close proximity to several downtown hotels and restaurants.
"As we start making decisions about whether it's San Antonio or Omaha or any of the other cities, it's really about which city can we pick our best team in, and which city is best for the sport in general?" said Unger.
Unger said the shear size of the Alamodome is one thing they'll consider, as it would significantly increase the number of spectators they'd be able to accommodate.
"The anticipated number of athletes is about 1,200, and they would come from probably all 50 states; and almost 65 percent of the spectators come from out of town," said Unger.
San Antonio is working hard to get the bid, which is set to be announced by the USA Swimming Board of Trustees by no later than the end of April.
You'd be looking at an enormous number of hotel rooms being used, restaurants, and things like that would certainly be impacted by the group that comes in here," said Unger.
San Antonio is bidding the event against Greensboro, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Indiana, Jacksonville, Florida, St. Louis, Missouri, and Omaha, Nebraska.
Indianapolis hosted the Women's 1052 Swimming Trials, and Omaha played host to the event the last two Olympic Trials in 2008 and 2012.
By: Marissa A. Wagner
Thursday, February 21, 2013