Big Apple dumps 2007 masters indoor nationals
Let the bad times roll. The Armory track in New York City has decided that, oops, it can’t host the 2007 USATF Masters National Indoor Championships. On Monday, Norbert Sander Jr., president of The Armory Foundation, notified USATF Masters T&F Chair George Mathews of its decision to scratch. George’s reaction? “IвЂ™m not happy about my kinfolks in New York,” he wrote me. That’s putting it mildly. Lots of folks will be disappointed and angry over the Armory’s antics a year ahead of the meet.
Here’s what Sander wrote:
Norbert W. Sander, Jr., M.D.
The Armory Foundation
216 Fort Washington Avenue, NYC
(212) 923-1803 ext.10
As a follow-up to our conversation on Saturday February 25th, 2006, the Armory must regretfully withdraw its bid to host the 2007 Indoor USA Master Track & Field meet. After our meeting with Jim Flanik and yourself, it was clear that the cost to stage a meet of this complexity here in New York City could not be met through the entry fees of the athletes. Other important costs such as admission fees for spectators and the current rates for hotels in New York City also appear by your input considerably above the expectations of master competitors. While we in New York feel the experience of this great city is worth the added costs we understand your own positions and responsibilities to offer relatively low budget competition to your constituents.
Many thanks for your understanding and we hope with over a year until 2007вЂ™s competition you can secure a suitable site.
New York City’s bid in December 2004 for the 2007 indoor nationals included the assumption that spectators would be charged admission to the meet — something USATF masters simply doesn’t do. New York also was well aware of the expensive lodging. So what’s changed?
At the end of my report from Portland on NYC being chosen to host it first nationals, I wrote:
“The meet may be four days instead of the usual three, the New York reps said, to be able to feature an indoor weight pentathlon on the opening day, without lots of other events going on around the track at the same time. This got the dander up of a few delegates, who wondered out loud whether the Armory folks were trying to usurp authority from USATF on what events to stage at an indoor nationals, since apparently the weight pentathlon is not a traditional indoor event.
“But when it comes to throwing weight around, New York is world-class. We’ll see how potential disputes pan out in the next couple years.”
Well, now we see. NYC simply took its implements and went home, leaving USATF Masters without a host site in 2007. The board will meet on securing another 2007 site, I’m told. In 2004, NYC beat Boston for the 2007 meet by a vote of 38-12. We’ll see if Boston will step into the breach, or another city steps up to the plate.
If you’d like YOUR town to host nationals, contact your local USATF association and see if they’d consider entering a bid. Don’t assume your local association will know the meet is in play. Tell them. Anyone interested in hosting the 2007 indoor nationals should contact George Mathews.