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Thread: Des Moines

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    Junior Member
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    First, to those of you who came to Des Moines I hope you had an enjoyable time here. For a person who has been going to Drake Stadium for nearly 40 years to watch this sport, last night was special - I got to witness a world record for the second time in my life and do it from my spot at the top of the Section J.

    Some of you have raised questions about the marketing effort (or lack therof) here in Des Moines for this year’s meet. I believe Catch Des Moines and the folks from Drake had a much more extensive marketing campaign than they did last year. Electronic billboard messages have been running for nearly a month and there was significant radio ad time on the local radio stations over the past two weeks. Does this mean they did all they could – no. But as a local, it is much more noticeable than previous efforts.

    My biggest complaint ever since Drake started hosting the USATF meets has been the lack of outreach and ticket sales at Drake Relays and the State Track Meet. When Drake got back in the business of hosting national meets with the 2008 NCAA’s, you had the opportunity to buy both your Drake Relays tickets and your NCAA meet tickets together. Buying at the same time was the only way you could guarantee that you got your same seat locations for both. Unfortunately, they haven’t made that same offer recently. You bought your Drake tickets and then later in the year you got the offer for the national meet. And I think that has hurt attendance.

    The real lost opportunity has been not selling tickets to the masses at the State Meet. This is the target audience – kids who are participating in the sport, and while there were announcements reminding people that the USATF meet was coming there was no place where you could go and buy tickets. This didn’t deter a number of coaches and kids from coming, by the numbers of team shirts I saw in the crowds this weekend. But it could have been a lot more if they had someone selling tickets while nearly 40,000 people who go to the best state track meet in the nation. I could say a lot more about USATF's lack of involvement/outreach/presence at these meets, but I'll save that for another time.

    USATF should not be free of constructive criticism when it comes to the marketing issue. This weekend should be the centerpiece of the American track year, and as such it should be more than just a meet. There is so much dead time in the day – why not fill it with events that could draw coaches and athletes? Why isn’t USTFCCCA putting on clinics so that coaches can come and learn from some of the best in the business, and then go to the meet? Why isn’t USATF putting on events for kids so they can get exposed to the sport and some of the best athletes? You build immediate interest in the meet and long term interest in the sport, which is desperately needed.

    I know there are some who believe that no official track meet takes place outside the confines of Hayward Field. To me, that is one of the reasons why this sport is in trouble. If the only place you can go to see the best in your sport compete is at a hard to reach town in the Pacific Northwest, is it any wonder that fewer and fewer people in this country are interested in track and field?

    I'm not trying to cast Eugene in a bad light here. But if we are get more Americans to be interested in this sport, they need to have a chance to see the best compete somewhere close by at least occasionally. That doesn't happen when the NCAA meet, the USATF meet, and the only Diamond League meet in the US are all on the same track each year.
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    I love Des Moines and this was my 7th trip and I live in Eugene. I agree that meets should be spread around, but ultimately Eugene is a guaranteed great crowd, unlike anywhere else.
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    I'm not trying to cast Eugene in a bad light here. But if we are get more Americans to be interested in this sport, they need to have a chance to see the best compete somewhere close by at least occasionally. That doesn't happen when the NCAA meet, the USATF meet, and the only Diamond League meet in the US are all on the same track each year.

    The same old story....spread the meets around...and people will come....and went they do like the NYC DL and now this meet, attendance is poor... so let's keeping repeating that...

    Remember 40 years ago there were lots of meets around...and they almost all died..people lost interest.... the Trials in 1992 were in NO and attendance was lousy...

    Eugene is a unique place....everyone should be thankful there is at least one place in country where the sport is popular and marketed well..which isn't easy.... instead of these pipedreams...

    I suppose selling tickets at state meets would help but having been to a few in other states most if not all of the attendees have little interest outside of watching a relative running...you might sell a few dozen that way but nothing significant...
    Last edited by Conor Dary; 07-29-2019 at 08:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlDaddy View Post

    But it could have been a lot more if they had someone selling tickets while nearly 40,000 people who go to the best state track meet in the nation. .
    I think a lot of people would beg to differ on that comment on multiple levels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conor Dary View Post
    . the Trials in 1992 were in NO and attendance was lousy...

    ...
    not really: high was 17,255, low was 10,000; average for the 9 days was 15,251/day!
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    I suppose...but we flew in with no tickets...and every day we got great seats...including the finish line near the track on a couple of days ...for half price.... and lots of space...

    The real problem was a hotel room....there were a few conventions in town...a surprise indeed...in NO in July? we found something but not cheap...

    Indy was if I remember fairly well attended...though the worse weather ever...
    Last edited by Conor Dary; 07-29-2019 at 10:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce3404 View Post
    I love Des Moines and this was my 7th trip and I live in Eugene. I agree that meets should be spread around, but ultimately Eugene is a guaranteed great crowd, unlike anywhere else.
    Bet Eugene is not a sellout for 2020 OT's!
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    177,000 over eight days in 2016 is pretty darn good. The final two days might have been sell-outs, I don't know with certainty, and there were two or three thousand more at the festival on the turf field behind the West Grandstand, watching on jumbotrons.
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    A sellout?...Probably not....but it will be hard to notice it wasn't...nor will anyone care....

    I didn't have a season ticket in 2016...it was easy to get tickets for the south turn....even on the last 2 days...but the East and West Grandstands were full.... that last day was one of the best days I've ever seen...especially the men's 1500....
    Last edited by Conor Dary; 07-29-2019 at 10:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conor Dary View Post
    So much for how great Eugene is....the local station is not showing the NBC feed now...
    That really does suck.
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