By Eric Olson
OMAHA, Neb.: The College World Series and U.S. swimming trials have coexisted nicely this week.
That might not be the case if Omaha hosts the trials again in 2020.
The events are being held across the street from each other in downtown Omaha, with the trials at the CenturyLink Center and the CWS at TD Ameritrade Park. Trials races and CWS games went head-to-head Monday and Tuesday and could again on Wednesday.
USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus said last week that with the Tokyo Olympics starting July 24, 2020, the trials would start on or about June 14 if the same schedule as this year was used.
The 2020 CWS is scheduled to start June 13.
The events could cause some issues if held simultaneously, like the demand for hotel rooms with eight CWS teams in town along with swimmers, family and friends. The conflict was minimal this year because only four teams remained in the CWS when trials participants began arriving, and only two teams were left when the trials started.
Ron Prettyman, the managing director of championships and alliances for the NCAA, said the organization wants to work with USA Swimming, but there is no wiggle room on dates for the CWS.
“It is not likely in the slightest way that we’re going to be adjusting our championship,” Prettyman said. “It’s so calculated with regionals and super regionals and when things start and finish. We’re the last championship the NCAA has, so we can’t go earlier, and we really don’t want to go later because we’re concerned about time demands for student-athletes and so on. These kids are ready to be kids and enjoy their summer, too.
“I don’t know what the flexibility is for swimming. If they could push it back two days, that would be ideal.”
The trials are being held for the third straight time in Omaha, and city officials have said they want to host the trials again.
This year’s trials are sold out, with more than 14,000 attending each session. When CWS games and trials competition run simultaneously, a combined 35,000 people attend the events in a compact area on the north side of downtown.