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  • How many meets do you see live?

    A few of us track people were discussing the nature of being a spectator and a fan, and an interesting question arose. Are there people who think of themselves as track fans, and even post on this message board, who are really armchair (or keyboard) track fans who never, or almost never, attend a live meet?

    So the question is, how many meets do you actually attend in an average year? If you'd like, you can break it down by category (HS, college, open, international, etc.)

  • #2
    Re: How many meets do you see live?

    Hi I am a new track and field fan. I live in the mountains of Northern Canada right now and am not able to see any meets. My dream would be to travel to see the summer Olympics or any other big meet in Europe. You guys have inspired me to learn about all the events and appreciate each and every one. I am a competitive cross country skier so I have some understanding of competition and athlete life. I'm not able to train right now because I have depleted my adrenal system- so I was watching track and field on a fuzzy television. I was looking up the results on the net and found you guys. My training partners think I have some potential in the triple jump....and have too much time on my hands.

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    • #3
      Re: How many meets do you see live?

      As a rule of thumb, I generally see somewhere between 25 - 35 live track meets per year (and that's not counting the ones I see on TV).

      50% are collegiate meets; 25% are high school/youth level meets; and the other 25% would be elite level/all-comers meets.

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      • #4
        Re: How many meets do you see live?

        Tell me where a decent meet in the East is (not indoors, not collegiate, and not days of relays like Penn) and I'd go!

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        • #5
          Re: How many meets do you see live?

          Growing up in Detroit I went every year to the NCAA Indoor Championships, as well as various outdoor and indoor local high school and college meets, including the Big 10s when they'd come to UM or MSU. My first Olympics was Montreal and I have been to 5 since then (and hoping to go to a 6th next summer). I've also been to 2 worlds.

          However, since moving to NYC 16 years ago I have been stymied by both a lack of personal time and the dearth of good meets in this area, so on a yearly basis I probably see only 3-4 meets. I always go to Milrose, try to make the city HS championships every year, and attempt to make an annual pilgrammage to the Armory. Of course I used to go to the USATF Indoors when it was held at the Garden and to the short-lived NY Games as well. I also attended all days of the Goodwill Games out on L.I. and went to last years USATF Indoors at the Armory.

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          • #6
            Re: How many meets do you see live?

            When I was back home in Jamaica, I would go to most of the track meets held at the National Stadium. Most were HS level with some collegiate and occasional International meetings. I can say that I have gone to every important meet held in Jamaica since 1979, with the exception of the 1992, 2002 and 2003 national trials. I have never been able to afford the overseas meets or else I would have gone to most of those as well. I have been living in the UK since last year but unfortunately was unable to go to Manchester, Birmingham or Paris, but plan to be at the Olympics next year. I so badly wanted to go to Atlanta, but the stress of applying for a US visa was too much for me to bother with.
            why don't people pronounce vowels anymore

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            • #7
              Re: How many meets do you see live?

              Ha! Try getting one now! (And while you're at it, bend over, please.)

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              • #8
                Re: How many meets do you see live?

                Not as many as I would like to see... I see maybe two or three HS meets per year.

                It's too bad I live in Indianapolis. How I wish we had the resources (stadium, support, etc...) to host a high-caliber meet.

                P.S. I am being sarcastic in the 2nd paragraph, in case you didn't notice (

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                • #9
                  Re: How many meets do you see live?

                  I usually try to attend at least one international event (GP, Indoor GP, WCh, WIC, etc) and one British domestic meet (AAAs, Indoor AAAs) each year.

                  I always have every intention of going to more, but when the time comes, I usually can't make it.

                  My next one will be the World Indoor Champs in Budapest.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How many meets do you see live?

                    For quite a few years I made one major (2 world champs, one olympics, numerous US champs or Olympics trials) meet a year and a couple college or other meets (mainly Texas Relays, SWC or Big 12 meets). This year I believe I only made it to 2 college meets and a one junior high school meet. The high level (international caliber) meets are almost exclusively on the west coast. I do think that the NCAA Champs are possibly underappreciated by anyone who hasn't looked carefully at just how much talent there is in any given year.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How many meets do you see live?

                      not as many as I would like. back when I was young (realtivly, I would go to Modesto, fry my brains all day, drive to LA, crash on my mother in-laws couch, hit Pepsi, drive home and be at work at the crack of noon). I can't do that anymore. there is not Pepsi, for e.g. but I did use to go to Eugene for Pre even when there was no major immediately following. and made it a day trip. loooong day. now proximity is the consideration. I still plan major vacactions (read European meets) around meets, but time marches, and there are places I need to see before shuffling off which are not likely to have any meet, let alone major. (but wouldn't the sprint times be great at Machu Pichu?)
                      To the actual question, this year I did a lot of HS meets because my grandson is a runner. he got his 1600 down to 4:35xx, which isn't horrible for a freshman, but it was fun to see the enthusiasm of that level of the sport. when I did track in HS, we didn't have a girl's team. that was a real loss. some of those chicks are real foxes. I had good luck, with the NCAA regionals, NCAA & nationals close to home (south bay). I also have the advantage of a wife who has done most of this with me, and who is a real fan. Paris was a no brainer, as we hadn't been there. In addition to the meet, we did almost all the things we wanted to do in Paris. I'm not sure about Helsinki. We have been there twice, so there is nothing new to see. But St peterburg is really close, I have a friend in Tallinn and my brother summers in Stockholm, so we may do our '83 trip "right". Our first Helsinki venture was to the Euro cup in '77. Ed Fox said our group of 4 was close to TFN tours gang of 6.
                      In sum, I do go to quite a few meets (only the LA olympics, but those are priced out of range for plebes like us), but I havn't kept up with my stat keeping. I may get back into that, but I have other interests as well. Sorry for the length of the screed.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How many meets do you see live?

                        ps. of course tv doesn't count, and indoor is for places where they have winter.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How many meets do you see live?

                          When I lived in Los Angeles I used to go to all the UCLA meets and some of the USC meets, but now that I live out in the boondocks I don't get to attend any meets at all. So I just watch 'em on TV.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How many meets do you see live?

                            I do not always practice what I preach, but there is no such thing as a bad track meet. Open up the newspaper anytime between April and June, find a high school meet, and go. You'll like it.

                            At least on the high school level, there are still oodles of dual meets.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How many meets do you see live?

                              and ditto for CC meets in the fall. With them, you even can get some exercise out there.

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