OLYMPIC TRIALS: Des Moines Begins Bid Process

The Des Moines City Council approved Drake University to seek funding for a feasibility study.

Now it’s time for the community to get the ball rolling as this event could put all eyes on central Iowa.

According to Des Moines city leaders, hosting the 2016 Olympic trials would be a gold medal win for the city.

“It’s like the drake relays on steroids to an extent. There would be a great deal of national publicity and national attention,” said Des Moines City Council member, Halley Griess.

“We’re talking about a hugely successful economic stimulator for the community,” said Tiffany Tauscheck from the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hosting the trials would give athletes like Lolo Jones and Lisa Uhl the opportunity to compete in their own backyard and a chance for their biggest fans to see them in person.

Before a bid comes a feasibility study.

Drake Relays director Brian Brown says the university hopes to cover the study’s $50-$70 thousand dollar price tag with a grant from the Economic Development Administration.

It evaluates all aspects of hosting a major event.

“We look at everything from hotels to restaurants, travel, and those individuals that will be important leaders,” Brown told Channel 13 News.

Des Moines’ greatest competition comes from Eugene, Oregon, the site of the 2012 trials.

Eugene saw an economic impact of $30 million dollars, but Tiffany Tauscheck has even higher hopes for Des Moines.

“Hosting the 2016 trials would have a huge economic impact on our region to the tune of about $50 million dollars.”

Des Moines hopes to market itself as track central USA.

“It only makes sense to host the Olympic trials here in 2016.”