IndyStar is reporting that Indianapolis is likely to win the bid to host the 2024 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in 2024. Although IUPUI has hosted the Trials a handful of times previously, the last of which came in 2000, the proposal for the 2024 Trials is reportedly to construct temporary pools in Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts NFL team.
There is a news conference scheduled for Tuesday in Indy, where it’s expected it will be announced that Indianapolis has won the bid. The other finalists are Omaha, which has hosted the past 4 Trials meets, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.
Indianapolis has a history of hosting high-level swim meets, having hosted the Olympic Trials a number of times, NCAA Championships at every level, and even the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships. IUPUI hosted the U.S. Diving Olympic Trials last summer as well, marking the 7th time Indy has hosted that meet.
Since 2008, Omaha, Nebraska has hosted the Olympic Swimming Trials. They build temporary pools in the CHI Health Center, an arena and convention center. Indy will be following a similar system, converting Lucas Oil Stadium into a natatorium for the week of Trials.
Indianapolis’ proposal will reportedly have space for 30,000-35,000 spectators and is formatted in the same design as they use when they host the Final Four of the college basketball tournament. The pools would simply take the places of the basketball courts in that design.
Notably, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the home of the Indiana Pacers, hosted the 2004 SC World Swimming Championships, although that meet only required a pair of 25m pools. Gainbridge Fieldhouse doesn’t have enough room to fit the two 50m pools necessary for the Olympic Trials meet, so the bid went to Lucas Oil Stadium.
As IndyStar notes in their report, Indy hosting the 2024 Trials presents a unique coincidence. In 1924, Indy hosted the Swimming Trials for the 1924 Olympics, which were also held in Paris. That means that swimmers will be going from Indianapolis to Paris for the Olympics exactly 100 years later.