In addition to serving as home of the Drake Relays, with more than 100 years of rich tradition, Greater Des Moines and Drake University have hosted the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional Outdoor Track and Field Championship, the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship and more recently the 2009 AAU Junior Olympics.
"It's always a delight to come to Des Moines," said USA Track and Field CEO Doug Logan, who endorsed Des Moines and Drake as Track Central USA at a news conference today. "We are thrilled with the relationship that we've developed -- we consider this city and Drake University and the grand people we deal with as part of our extended family -- and you've made us feel like part of your family."
Drake University and the Des Moines Area Sports Commission (DMASC) will combine efforts in hosting the 2010 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium June 23-27. Drake also was awarded the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Track Central USA is a comprehensive branding strategy that will forever change the fan experience at future track and field events in Greater Des Moines. The DMASC, an organization under the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau umbrella, and Drake are proud to make this collaborative announcement.
The cornerstone of this exciting new initiative is an innovative and interactive Track Central USA Fan Zone behind the press box in Drake Stadium. This area will include interactive video kiosks, a hands-on track and field exhibit space, an area designated for fitness/wellness, a stage for athlete interaction, improved merchandise exhibit area and food and other vendors.
"One hundred years of the Drake Relays and our success in recent years landing and hosting world class track and field events has cemented our place in the world of track and field. The Track Central USA initiative allows us to take it to the next level as we pursue the Olympic Trials for track and field in the future," said Greg Edwards, president and CEO of Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"Our community, with the guidance and leadership of Drake University's Athletic Department, continues to gain nationwide attention as a premiere track and field destination. Track Central USA and the Track Central USA Fan Zone capture the essence of our commitment to track and field in Greater Des Moines."
"Drake University, in partnership with the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, is excited to unveil the Track Central USA Fan Zone at Drake Stadium," said Drake Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb. "This project will build on a well established track and field tradition and has tremendous synergy with other initiatives within our department focused on enhancing the fan experience."
The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote Greater Des Moines as a fun, vibrant and affordable destination statewide, nationally and internationally. Our focus increases visitors to our community through meetings, conventions, sports events, leisure travel, and group tours, thereby contributing to the local economy.