Des Moines is living up to its name, Track Central USA. The best in track and field are here this week for the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
“You’re gonna have a lot of Olympians here, world record holders here, it’s a big, big event,” says Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Athletes had a chance to get a feel for the track at Drake Stadium before fans from near and far take their seats.
“Everything was booked. We booked a month and a half ahead,” says Mandy Modine.
Modine traveled from Bend, Oregon to see her son, Mitch, compete in just his fourth decathlon.
“I basically am the support crew. They say show up here and Mom shows up with the goodies to eat and food to drink,” she says.
Mitch Modine got into the sport following some encouragement from high school pal and decathlon World Record holder, Ashton Eaton.
Organizers are counting on those big names to fill the seats, but it will take more than the out-of-town crowd to get the job done.
“This track and field event will be nationally televised Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon on NBC sports. So we need to show that Des Moines supports these big sporting events,” says Edwards.
Drake Stadium holds just over 14,500. So far, organizers have sold more than 12,000 tickets. They’re especially trying to fill the seats across from the finish line on the east side of the stadium. That’s the area that will be shown on TV.
Tickets are still available for all five days. For more information, go to http://www.catchdesmoines.com