Can Sacramento be TrackTown USA?

Leading Off: Big turnout expected for USA Championships

Published: Thursday, Jun. 5, 2014 - 10:06 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Jun. 5, 2014 - 10:35 pm

SacTown can become TrackTown USA again. Or something pretty close.

Performances and attendance are the key, and both beautifully went hand-in-hand before and can serve as a guide when Sacramento hosts its sixth national championship meet starting June 25 in the USA Track and Field Championships at Sacramento State’s refurbished Hornet Stadium.

USATF executives have assured local organizers that the 2017 USA Championships would return to Sacramento if this year’s event draws well. Embrace this as a challenge, Sacramento. The 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at Sac State drew approximately 360,000 spectators, making for the best-attended meets in trials history.

Records fell and attendance soared in U.S. Championships before in Sacramento, in 1968, 1981, 1995, 2000 and 2004. From “The Night of Speed,” to the dawning of Carl Lewis, to Michael Johnson sizzling in the sprints, to NCAA milestone moments over four Division I championship appearances last decade, to those two Olympic Trials, Sacramento has made its mark in track history. But the region has lost out on other events, to towns with better bids.

The NCAA D-I championships are in Eugene, Ore., next week, and will be held on the Oregon campus through 2021. The CIF State High School Track and Field Championships were held at storied Hughes Stadium 11 times, the last in 2007. It’s been a fixture in Clovis, near Fresno, the last five years, including this weekend. A good showing at Sac State speaks volumes for the future, however.

– Joe Davidson


What to watch

Baseball: Giants vs. Mets, 7:15 p.m., CSNCA: San Francisco starter Matt Cain comes off the disabled list to begin a 10-game homestand.

Today’s poll

Can Sacramento be TrackTown USA?

• Yes, history is proof

• No, not enough interest

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Thursday’s results

Does 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick deserve his contract extension ?

• Yes, he led the team to back-to-back NFC Championship games: 52%

• No, he’s only started 29 NFL games: 48%

Total votes: 251

Read more articles by Joe Davidson

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