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Looking back at indoor meet attendance

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  • Looking back at indoor meet attendance

    Found the list below in an early-70s edition of the magazine. It's an eye-opening picture of just how good attendance used to be at the major indoor meets on the circuit.

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  • #2
    While I am grateful to have experienced the sport in this period, it is depressing to reflect on how much of it has vanished.

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    • #3
      NYC had 4 meets back then at the Garden!....it was a magical time ....glad to have been around....

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      • #4
        The IC4A was a fifth meet at MSG until Jadwin Gym was opened at Princeton and the meet moved there. I think that may have been in 1972.

        You will note the newspaper clipping says the IC4A was not included because of the site change. I would guess Jadwin had capacity of about 5,000 for track & field at the time.

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        • #5
          Jadwin Gym opened in 1969. IIRC, the IC4A meet was first held there in '70 or '71.

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          • #6
            it's not just the attendance at those meets that's boggling, it's teh sheer number of significant meets, period.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gh View Post
              it's not just the attendance at those meets that's boggling, it's teh sheer number of significant meets, period.
              Exactly.....all over the place....Chicago had the Daily News Relays at the Stadium and the Holiday Classic at the University of Chicago ....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gh View Post
                it's not just the attendance at those meets that's boggling, it's teh sheer number of significant meets, period.
                That's exactly what struck me. So many significant meets, almost like a real circuit!

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                • #9
                  I was fortunate to have competed in some of those indoor meets. Great fun, awesome to have 10,000 screaming people almost on top of you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gm View Post

                    That's exactly what struck me. So many significant meets, almost like a real circuit!
                    Almost? No, it was a real circuit. In the 1980s, the Mobil Grand Prix formalized it as such.

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                    • #11
                      Speaking of old T&Fnews....someone just sent me this....I love this....

                      II July 1970: U.S. vs. West Germany
                      Stuttgart, West Germany, July 16—… Steve Prefontaine set the pace for all but 250m of the 5000. That’s when the leaching Harald Norpoth streaked by, opened up a big margin and won, 13:34.6 to 13:39.6. “I don’t have much respect for a runner who’d let a kid do all the work and then go by in the end,” said Steve afterwards. /Dick Bank/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tandfman View Post

                        Almost? No, it was a real circuit. In the 1980s, the Mobil Grand Prix formalized it as such.
                        Yes, I am quite aware of that. Forgive me for being too playful with my words.

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                        • #13
                          Wow that's crazy. I was only able to watch (not in person) the last few editions of Millrose at MSG but even if they couldn't fill the stadium that was just such a more cool meet than just another mark chasing day at the Armory. To me (in high school at that point), the seemingly random race distances and the tiny track were the best parts. I can't imagine there being a whole bunch of meets like that.

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                          • #14
                            Just came across this youtube clip of Millrose '74 that I hadn't seen before.

                            Herb Washington winning the 60y, in same year he would be picked off first base in the World Series.

                            Tony Waldrop winning the mile in first Millrose sub-4 ever.

                            Mary Decker winning the 1000y, with the even younger Robin Campbell on her shoulder. Couple of weeks before setting the HS 880y/800m mark that would not be bettered for 43 years.

                            People standing all over the track.

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vodukVXjafw

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                            • #15
                              A True Story - even if we were not running in the Philadelphia meet on the circuit in a particular year, we would get free tickets to go watch as members of the Penn track team - it helped fill the stands.

                              Anyway, in 1974, the games committee signed a contract with the Spectrum (capacity 14,000) to have the “Philadelphia Track Classic” on a Monday night after another meet on the East Coast was on the Friday or Saturday.

                              Shortly after the contract was signed, it was announced that the second Ali-Frazier fight would be on the same date! The Spectrum was fit to be tied as they wanted to offer the fight on closed-circuit television in the arena - this was long before pay-per-view on cable television.

                              Eventually, the Spectrum cut a deal with the Philadelphia Track Classic: The meet would be from 6pm to 9:30pm and the fight was scheduled to start at 10pm. The meet sold 7,000 tickets at $6 to $8 and the fight sold 7,000 tickets at $20 to $25. Anybody with meet tickets could stay late and anyone with fight tickets could come early.

                              Obviously, we got no free tickets that year, but Coach Jim Tuppeny tipped us off early about the situation so we could buy some $6 tickets before they quickly sold out. And so my roommate and I got to watch the meet and the fight which was won by Ali - setting up his chance to fight George Foreman for the title after Foreman had become champion by beating Frazier.
                              Last edited by Halfmiler2; 05-08-2020, 04:53 AM.

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