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Sad about no west coast indoor.


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  • Sad about no west coast indoor.

    Back in 1962 I watched Jim Beatty run a WR 3:58.9 mile in the LA Sports Arena.

    Back in those days and for some years after there were excellent indoor meets in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. What happened to west coast indoor meets?

    I think we had a thread on this a while back...but I can't remember what was said.

  • #2
    I know!
    I saw some of those LA meets---especially remember seeing Lindgren's 8:46 2 mile against Roelants!
    All we have now is that damn OT in Seattle!


    • #3
      What happened was a big lack of sponsorship for those five indoor meets (San Diego, San Francisco (Daly City), Oakland, Los Angeles (2), and San Diego). Not enough money. It's too bad because they were all good meets.


      • #4
        Yes, I remember attending the LA meets in the early '60s. Real good stuff. There will be at least one big meet next year in Portland aka The World's Indoor Championships.
        Senior Member
        Last edited by bruce3404; 02-05-2015, 03:58 AM.


        • #5
          I must say that growing up in the East, I never understood why they ran indoor track in Southern California, when the weather was perfectly suitable for running outdoors. Still, some of those meets were quite good and it's always a shame to see track meets dying. The outdoor scene in California ain't what it used to be either. :-(


          • #6
            you never hear it mentioned much, but I believe that what helped kill indoor track, ironically enough, was the rise of professionalism. So many of the big indoors were sponsored by major newspapers and as I recall many/most ran them through their "public service/charity" divisions, with all profits going to whatever they pushed locally in that regard.

            It was a wink-of-the-eye understanding that there was a (significant) under-the-table budget that brought in the talent. No harm, no foul.

            But once it became obvious that track guys weren't really All-American amateurs who did it for the flag, backing for the meets was cut off. Slightly simplistic analysis, but an important part of the equation that rarely gets mentioned.


            • #7
              There's just too many other things going on, plus on-line entertainment is so cheap and available. Track thrived because there just wasn't a lot of viable competition for entertainment. As MLB, NFL, NBA grew in aggressive marketing strategies, T&F just couldn't compete any more for the Sports Dollar.


              • #8
                Well, whatever happened is sad...the Jack-in-the Box sponsored San Diego meet was the best...with that fast, perfectly banked 10 lap to the mile board track...I saw so many great distance races there in the mid to late 70"s...all gone now.

                Favorite memory from San Diego: 1977 Frank Shorter holding off Rod Dixon in a 2 mile race. He beat Dixon the only way he could..a long drive over the final half mile, covered in 1:57+!


                • #9
                  In 2012 the promoter of the Sunkist and Jack-in-the-Box meets discovered that the old wooden banked track had been improperly stored and was destroyed.



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wamego relays champ View Post
                    In 2012 the promoter of the Sunkist and Jack-in-the-Box meets discovered that the old wooden banked track had been improperly stored and was destroyed.

                    Now there's a metaphor that pretty much sums up the sport outside of Olympic years.


                    • #11
                      I believe the track in this case is not the Jack-in-the Box,San Diego meet track. As I recall, it was a "faster" track than the LA Sports Arena track.


                      • #12
                        Its been ages, but wasn't one of the two LA meets held at the Forum for awhile? Wonder if they used the same track as the Sports Arena. If I recall, it was the LA Times meet at the Forum and the Sunkist Meet at the Sports Arena, though they may have both been held at the Sports Arena during some years (as in before the Forum was built). Those were great meets and I remember also attending the Knights of Columbus meet a couple of times at the ancient Cleveland Arena. In those years (around 1967-8), that meet billed itself around the Pole Vault and in a good year you might get two or three 17' vaults.


                        • #13
                          Yes, the Los Angeles Times Indoor meet began at the Sports Arena. Jim Beatty ran the first sub-four minute mile there in February of 1962. The Los Angeles Invitational Indoor meet was also held in the Sports Arena, usually in January.

                          The L.A. Times Indoor meet moved to the new Forum, but the L.A. Invitational stayed in the Sports Arena with a new sponsor: Sunkist.