Omaha is counting down toward the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. Harold Cliff is the president of the Omaha Sports Commission and says there are fewer than 500 tickets left for the final session but otherwise it is a complete sell-out. Cliff says since there are only two major events that night the crowd will be entertained by Cirque du Solei from Las Vegas. He says they are anticipating the largest crowd ever.
Cliff says, “We had 160-thousand attendees in 2008. 167,000 in 2012 and we are going to be over 220,000 this time which will set the all-time attendance record for any swim meet ever held in the United States including the Olympic Games in Atlanta and Los Angeles so Omaha is going to have a lot of guests in town for that 10 day period.”
Cliff says the traveling public that comes to the swim trials is outstanding. He says 90% of the tickets sold are from out-of-towners. About 1,800 athletes will be competing for 45 slots on the U.S. team.
Cliff says they have to keep raising the bar to make sure the experience is top-notch for all. He says, “We have assistance coming in from Australia in terms of our play-by-play show caller. We have people from London and people from Switzerland to help out with the timing. People from Italy and Poland coming in to build the pool. We have a number of Canadians in town. It is a large group of people who work well together and know what their job is.” Pool construction will start soon.
The trials run from June 26th through July 3rd.