Tickets…Please?

By Contributor David Meisel

With this week’s  announcement that the 2020(2021) U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be split into two events- Wave I – June 4th thru the 7th and Wave II on June 13th to June 13th to June 20th, 2021….what about the fans?  To date none of my swim friends have said anything about tickets, travel, etc. 

USA Swimming Press Release

The update on “Ticket” information (see screen shot below) does not even “open” for more information. 

USA Swimming ‘Quick Links’ section of the website for Trials

I get that there is a lot to consider and the athletes should come first, relatives, friends and fans should be able to make some plans around will they get to go?  Can they get a refund for their tickets?  Can the funds be donated to “Learn to Swim Programs”?

Swim parents in general are pretty flexible people, we drive early in the am and wait hours just so that we can see our child or others race an event that will last under 25 seconds.  If that’s not flexible(or crazy) I am not sure what really defines being flexible.

But let’s be honest, the tickets are not inexpensive, Omaha’s hotels are 5 times the cost for the event(time period that the trials occur) then what they typically are, and rental cars or other transportation also follow the same pattern of expensive.

I’m very confused how the planning committee for such an exciting event has a link for “Updated Ticket Information Coming Soon” January 26th(when the tickets originally went on sale 12 months before the original trials were to occur) is to calm us down, provide a sense of reassurance or anything more than leave us a bit frustrated. We(those who have been hunkering down during Covid so that our swimmers don’t bring the virus to others-coaches, swimmers, Olympic hopefuls) need something to look forward to! We need something that we can rely on, we need to know that June in Omaha is a possibility, that Omaha is Covid free, that the Century Center is so well ventilated that we can sit next to each other and cheer on Americas fastest swimmers, that we can enjoy a week that we have not had in 4+ years!! For those who have been to Omaha for the trials, you too know how special the experience is- Omaha maybe the location, but its all about what happens each day and especially at night at the Century Center. 

During the day its prelims with heat after heat of swimmers who have made the “Olympic Trials Cut”.   Heat after heat of a hopeful, from age 14+ to 30++ battling it out for a chance to make it back to the semi-finals and then to the finals.  For each event only 1 or 2 people will go to Tokyo, and the road to Tokyo has NO guarantees.

The nighttime festivities are saved for Semi-finals and Finals.  Light show, awesome announcing, and energy that you may only experience at a Caps Stanley Cup finals.  Fans of swimming venture to Omaha for this really special event.

The quesiton remains…what about my tickets?  Omaha 2021 for spectators?

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