San Antonio loses bid to host U.S. Olympic Swim Trials
Event will be held in Omaha, NE for third time
The 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim trials will be held in Omaha, NE, USA Swimming announced Saturday.
The winners from the trials will go on to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.
San Antonio and St. Louis, MO were the other cities that bid to host the week-long event.
"To get this close and not get it, it's probably like losing the Super Bowl," said San Antonio Sports Chairman George Block.
Block said holding the trials in the Alamodome would have made the event bigger than it has ever been. The arena was estimated to hold more than 20,000 fans each night compared to 14,000 fans a night in Omaha.
Block said it also would have helped USA Swimming attract more minorities to the sport.
"We offered a venue that, as big as it would have been, would have been even more intimate," said Block. "We offered them a gateway to the Hispanic market, and USA Swimming has not been able to crack that market. We said, 'We're your gateway, come on through.'"
San Antonio sports officials also lamented the economic loss of losing the bid. The trials would have brought in an estimated $50 million in revenue.
Russ Bookbinder, who spearheaded the "I'm In" campaign, the effort to bring the trials to San Antonio, said he was at peace with the decision.
"Obviously USA swimming made a statement that they would like to stay in a smaller venue, in a place that they have done it before," said Bookbinder. "We accept that."
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