Jacksonville is bowing out of the running to host the 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials because of a lack of adequate seating.
In its bid for the 2016 swimming trials, Executive Director of Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Alan Verlander says the city promised to build a temporary, above-ground, Olympic-sized pool in Veterans' Memorial Arena.
"And a lot of people have asked how do you construct a pool in an arena? Don't you have to be creative. And my answer to that is, well, we constructed a basketball arena on the deck of an aircraft carrier. If we can do that, we can master building a pool in an arena."
The real problem, as it turns out, would have been the pool's size.
"Where the swimmers dive-in off the blocks is at the top of the backboard of a basketball goal. So if you go into our arena, that's about the fifth or sixth row that we would have had to kill."
And, having to make-do with just twelve-thousand of the arena's fifteen-thousand seats turned out to be the deal breaker.
"We had to get creative with a lot of our bid and U.S.A. Swimming was very pleased with our creativity. But at the end of the day it comes down to a revenue factor and, you know, we had the least amount of seats of any city that bid."