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Olympic Swim Trials gives the metro an estimated boost of over $34 million

CHI HEALTH CENTER OLYMPIC SWIM TRIALS
Posted at 10:31 AM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 11:31:43-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — After being delayed due to the pandemic, the Olympic Swim Trials came to Omaha in June. According to a release from the Omaha Sports Commission (OSC), the event brought in just over 34.5 million dollars in revenue for the area as well as exposure for the metro.

“After months of frustrating event cancellations brought on by the pandemic, Omaha was finally able to host a national sporting event and this summer’s Olympic Swim Trials was a huge success,” Omaha Sports Commission Chair Donna Kush said. “Thousands of visitors from around the country came to Omaha and watched our nation’s top swimmers compete for a spot on the Olympic team going to Tokyo. Our hotels and restaurants were filled, attractions busy and you could feel a positive atmosphere throughout our city. This report reinforces the valuable role the OSC plays in recruiting major sporting events to Omaha and the huge benefits these events provide our citizens.”

Kush said the revenue generated is more impressive when taking into account that COVID-related restrictions were in effect including a requirement that the arena be limited to only 50% capacity.

The OSC is currently working on another Olympic Trials event in November at Baxter Arena where curling teams from around the country will compete for a chance to represent the United States at the next Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

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Read the full release from the OSC below:

The 2020 Olympic Team Trials for Swimming, which were delayed because of the pandemic until June, 2021, resulted in millions of dollars of economic impact and tremendous media exposure to Omaha and state of Nebraska. Officials from the Omaha Sports Commission (OSC), which served as the local host of the Trials, said the positive impact demonstrates the important benefits of recruiting national sporting events to the city.

A report produced by the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau indicates the June Olympic Swim Trials generated $34.5 million in economic impact to the city and state over a two-week period. The impact comes primarily from out-of-state visitors paying for hotel rooms, tickets, meals, attractions, shopping and other expenses during their stay. This summer’s Trials was held in two Waves to limit the number of swimmers in the CHI Health Center at any one time. Wave One held June 4 - 7 had an impact of $4.12 million, and Wave Two held June 13 - 20 generated an impact of $30.4 million.

Omaha Sports Commission Chair Donna Kush said the $34 million impact is even more impressive when you take into account the many covid-related restrictions the OSC had to deal with, including the requirement that the arena be filled to only 50 percent of capacity. She said the report is outstanding news for the community

“After months of frustrating event cancellations brought on by the pandemic, Omaha was finally able to host a national sporting event and this summer’s Olympic Swim Trials was a huge success,” Kush said. “Thousands of visitors from around the country came to Omaha and watched our nation’s top swimmers compete for a spot on the Olympic team going to Tokyo. Our hotels and restaurants were filled, attractions busy and you could feel a positive atmosphere throughout our city. This report reinforces the valuable role the OSC plays in recruiting major sporting events to Omaha and the huge benefits these events provide our citizens.”

A report generated by Universal Information Systems indicates the two Waves of the Trials resulted in an estimated $47 million media value from local coverage, national broadcasts, international stories and social media. Stories on the Trials in Omaha reached hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Omaha Sports Commission Executive Director Josh Todd said Olympic Trials competition provides an incredible opportunity to generate positive media exposure for Omaha.

“Wave Two of the Olympic Swim Trials was broadcast live in prime time on NBC all eight nights, and mentioned constantly during the swimming competition in Tokyo. The value of this media exposure to our city is immeasurable,” Todd said. “Despite the numerous challenges the covid pandemic created, event operations were flawless and we were able to safely host swimmers, fans and staff without incidents. It reinforces that no city has Omaha’s experience and track record of hosting multi-day major sporting events.”

Todd said Omaha Sports Commission staff are now working on another Olympic Trials event set this November, when the 2022 Olympic Team Trials for Curling are held November 12 - 21, 2021, at the Baxter Arena. Tickets for the Curling Trials are now on sale at Ticketmaster.com and the Baxter Arena box office.

Todd also noted that Omaha Sports Commission has submitted a proposal to host the 2024 Olympic Team Trials for Swimming and is one of four finalists to bring the event back to Omaha for a fifth time.

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