Another Olympic Trials event is returning to Omaha, confirming our city’s stature as a capable and welcoming sports host. With its growing string of hosting successes, Omaha has demonstrated that it has the facilities, management experience and positive atmosphere necessary to welcome sporting events of national and international caliber.
This sports-hosting accomplishment is a worthy achievement not just for a city of our size, but for a city of any size.
The latest announcement: In November 2021, Omaha will again host the U.S. Curling Trials at Baxter Arena. The event will determine which U.S. athletes compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The 2017 Trials, also held at Baxter, featured athletes who went on to become, at the 2018 Games in South Korea, the first American team to win gold in curling.
The arena has proved to be a major plus for the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the greater community.
Similarly, in June the CHI Health Center will be the site for U.S. Olympic Swim Trials — the fourth time in a row Omaha has hosted the competition, beginning in 2008. Omaha can rightly take pride in how it’s made a name for itself as the go-to site for this world-class competition.
In addition, next year Omaha will welcome the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, in Omaha for the fourth time since 2006. March Madness returns to Omaha next year with the college men’s basketball Elite Eight competition. And Omaha will continue to show off its ability to host major equestrian events when visitors enjoy jumping and dressage competition for the Burlington Capital International Omaha, the Midwest’s largest equestrian event.
Such events — made possible through the support of Omaha-area businesses, nonprofits and volunteers — and other amenities such as the Henry Doorly Zoo give a welcome boost to the city’s tourism economy. More than 13 million visitors spent $1.3 billion in Omaha last year, up 4.3% from 2017, and providing employment to more than 17,000 people.
Omaha’s sports-hosting successes rest, of course, on the foundation laid in 1950 by the College World Series, which remains our city’s pre-eminent annual marketing showcase. It’s great to see so many Omaha-based sporting events join the tradition set by the CWS.