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Indy out as host for swimming trials

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Indianapolis will not host the 2016 U.S. swimming trials.

USA Swimming notified Indiana Sports Corp that the Circle City has been eliminated as host for the event. One reason, according to the organization, is that Lucas Oil Stadium poses too many challenges as a venue.

“Lucas Oil Stadium is a fabulous facility and while the space is flexible to accommodate a number of sports and events other than football, it has proven to be challenging for creating an intimate swimming setting around the pool at this time,” said Mike Unger, executive director of USA Swimming.

“For several decades, Indianapolis has proven to be one of our most successful host cities, and we were excited that the city put forth interest to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming at Lucas Oil Stadium,” Unger said. “USA Swimming has enjoyed an excellent partnership with Indiana Sports Corp, working hand-in-hand with them on many events. We look forward to that partnership continuing with future events. The environment for the athletes at Olympic Trials is the highest priority of the United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming.”

The city hosted the event four other times: 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2000. Previous swimming trials were held at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse hosted the 2004 FINA World Championships. Construction for that event included two 25-meter pools. The Olympic trials call for two 50-meter pools, meaning the Fieldhouse is not a viable alternative.

“We are obviously disappointed that we will not host the Olympic Swimming Trials, and we would like to thank our great partner USA Swimming for the way they have handled this bid process and communicating this decision to us,” said Allison Melangton, president of Indiana Sports Corp.

Melangton said Indianapolis can’t win “100 percent of the events” the city bids on.

Indianapolis will still host several top-notch swimming events, including the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials as well as the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s and Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Those events will take place at the IU Natatorium.

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