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How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

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  • How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

    Letter writer to T&FN had this to say:

    <<To expand upon Claude Johnson‚s letter in the June T&FN concerning the
    > suffering of fans at the Oly Trials at Sacramento, for years the powers that
    > be have been downright fan-unfriendly in their selection of venues for the Oly
    > Trials. 1972, 1976 & 1980 in Eugene ˆ wonderful; 1984 in LA ˆ tolerable (and
    > lots of extra seats to spread out in); 1988 in Indy, 1992 in New Orleans, 1996
    > in Atlanta, 2000 & 2004 in Sacramento ˆ brutal, just brutal. (L.A and Atlanta
    > get special passes because they were the Olympic sites that year.) No one
    > wants to sit in a stadium full of people for 10 days when it is 90 to 105
    > degrees outside. We love track & field, but there really is no reason we
    > should have to suffer that much for the sport.
    >
    > I‚ve got an idea for 2008 (and beyond): Edwards Stadium at Cal Berkeley. It is
    > the oldest track-only stadium in America, is recently renovated, and holds
    > 22,000 fans (and the seats are all built on honest-to-goodness substantial
    > permanent structures, not collapsible temporary stands like those in
    > Sacramento and Stanford). Edwards Stadium has witnessed 12 world records, 26
    > American records and 24 collegiate records. From history‚s first 15-foot pole
    > vault, by Cornelius "Dutch" Warmerdam, through Jim Ryan‚s 3:51.3 mile to Henry
    > Rono‚s 13:06.4 5,000-meter run, history has been made at Edwards.
    > Additionally, Edwards has hosted eight NCAA championship meets, a National AAU
    > Championship and the 1971 and 1978 USA vs. USSR dual-meets. Oh, and there are
    > wonderful views of San Francisco and the Berkeley hills & Cal campus to enjoy
    > between events.
    >
    > Great venue, great weather (average July high ˆ 70!), everybody wins. Bring
    > the Trials to Edwards . . .
    >
    > Disclaimer: I am not a Cal grad; I am actually a Stanford fan (although not an
    > alum). But I do live pretty close to Cal.

  • #2
    Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

    Calfornia, clearly is a hotbed for T&F.

    One of my concerns is spreading the gospel of t&f into other areas.

    The catch is, we can expect excellent attendance at a sacramento, yet be disappointed in an atlanta.

    Using an olympic trials to spread the gospel is doubled edged, you get some people to attend, who might never had, versus having poor attendance generally.

    I thought I read some place Miami was in the running for a future olympic trials...

    ...doesn't seem the sort of venue I'd select...

    ..so other than california, and eugene, what venue would be good for 2008?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

      Ever been in Miami in July? You do not want to be there. Humidity will kill you. Plus you probably do not speak the language.

      Berkeley would be great.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

        New orleans and atlanta got shots, even with their Miami like humidity...

        any place on the east coast has the huge chance for miami like humidity in july..

        I think the thrust of my contention is the west coast has an established t&f tradition, one which an be counted on.

        so how does a better tradition get built elsewhere, unless you bring an OT elsewhere??

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

          I have a vested interest in having meets on the left coast. I hate to fly and I can drive to such meets. Of course, driving to Europe isn't practical, so I have to hold my nose, crawl on the plane and hope I can sleep. A non humid site for OT would be nicer for the fans and the athletes. I still remember the 10K at Indy in '88. Dropping like flys, they were. One runner (an ex-Cal athlete, can't remember his name) started an exagerated backwards lean, followed by collapse. Are there temperate sites in the midwest? Nebraska has a good T&F program, Des Moines? What is NE & IA like in the summer? I have been in Minneapolis/St Paul in both winter and summer, and winter is far better. Humid doesn't do summer there justice.

          I live an hour from Berkeley, so that would be good for me. Even reasonable public transportation (BART station two blocks from Edwards). Stanford is half an hour, but the seating is not sufficient for a trials. Berkeley's old track was slower than the preceding cinders, but I think the new track is okay. Edwards would be my choice, but I don't get to vote (except with my feet).

          One glitch in the original post, Rono's 5K record at Edwards was 13:08.5, the 13:06.40 came a couple years later.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

            If you don't mind the heat, I'd bet DFW or Houston could pull a decent crowd.

            Dunno about a facility in DFW though...there's probably a couple of high school stadiums that seat near 20K, without temp seating, tthat could benefit from the installation of a world class oval.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

              Berkeley sounds ideal...so I agree with the letter writer. Any place on the plains i.e. Iowa etc. and points east has too great a chance of stifling humidity.

              San Diego area might be a good venue--a bit warmer than Berkeley...the sprinters would like that, distance runners not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

                I'm not sure how Stanford got picked over Cal to begin with .. Cal is a much better facility all the way around ... Larger ... Great site lines .. Faster surface ... Cal is one of the best facilites and places to watch a meet on the West Coast ... Factor in the weather and fan base and it may be the best venue on the West Coast ..

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

                  You can be certain we will never see a national championships at Cal at least until Huffins has had a few years to get used to head coaching and feels ready to take that task on. He will also need to hire new assistants first. Ed Miller is a great technical coach and Tony Sandoval has his defenders but I don't think either one has any interest in doing the work to host an NCAA, USATF, or even a regional.

                  >I'm not sure how Stanford got picked over Cal to begin with .. Cal is a much
                  >better facility all the way around ... Larger ... Great site lines .. Faster
                  >surface ... Cal is one of the best facilites and places to watch a meet on the
                  >West Coast ... Factor in the weather and fan base and it may be the best venue
                  >on the West Coast ..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

                    I'm all for Edwards--or a place of similar quality--as the "permanent" site. I don't give a fig about spreading the track gospel by having this meet at lousy venues all over the U.S. How many locals really are influenced by having it in their backyards? Probably not many at all. I like the description of the Berkeley stadium (I've never been inside) for several reasons:
                    -it's designed for track only--thus no wasted space
                    -it's the right size: you can seat a fair number of spectators, but won't end up with 40,000 empty seats and horrible sight lines.
                    -the climate is athlete-friendly, a VERY important factor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

                      The only drawback: the aluminum bleacher rows ... same complaint with many venues... yes, someone will inevitably tell me to get a seat cushion

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

                        If Cal gets the "big" meet(s), what marketing scheme will Stanford think of next to get the meets back on the farm? They already have the 1-800-BEAT-CAL thing going for their rivalry game.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

                          >Letter writer to T&FN had this to say:

                          Henry
                          > Rono‚s 13:06.4
                          >5,000-meter run,

                          GH, are you going to correct this error in the letter--3 years early on the correct WR....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

                            I still remember the
                            >10K at Indy in '88. Dropping like flys, they were. One runner (an ex-Cal
                            >athlete, can't remember his name) started an exagerated backwards lean,
                            >followed by collapse.

                            Jay Marden. Never ran well again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How About Cal As A Site For Big Meets?

                              Cal would be a great site (I have a strong bias as a Cal alum) but it has a couple of drawbacks. Most importantly, its in a "cool" spot in the Bay Area--the fog roles in and it can be in the 60s during July. Stanford is in a somewhat warmer spot. Also, there's a fairly strong breeze blowing down the homestretch most days. I think the stadium probably needs a bit more work.

                              Cal's gungho AD Steve Gladstone may have been up for bidding for it, but he just resigned to go back to coaching crew. Also, it doesn't help that Brian Maxwell died--he probably would have put up the money to pull it in. Another poster was correct that Huffins probably needs more experience and support to pull off a bid.

                              San Diego would be a good location, with a smaller media market where the meet would play well and good weather (it wouldn't be too hot for distance runners due to the cool weather near the ocean). The problem is finding a venue that seats enough.

                              I suspect Carson will bid for the next trials. Last time I was in Carson I was going between 3 refineries and watching a cleanup of an asbestos Superfund site. Has it improved in 20 years?

                              I live near Sacramento now, so I like the Trials being near by. However, the facility is definitely lacking. The weather was just about perfect for the meet in July, with cool evenings making for great distance running, and hot days for sprinting. The NCAAs last year also had great weather. I don't know when our luck will break. On the other hand, except for about 1 week each summer, Sacramento is still better than any of the previous locations east of the Rockies for weather.

                              Comment

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