While Ohio State has made headlines in Track & Field this year with celebrating Jesse Owens’ legacy on the 75th anniversary of his stellar performance in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany and the women’s team winning the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Champions for the first time in program history, Capital and Ohio Wesleyan Univerisity have accomplished another NCAA feat in track and field for Central Ohio.
This past March and this Memorial Day weekend, Capital and Ohio Wesleyan will have hosted the indoor and outdoor NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships, respectively. It is rare for a city and region to host both championships in the same school year, especially without a special designation from the NCAA as a “Championship City.” The Greater Columbus Sports Commission is pursuing this special designation with the NCAA to help gain more collegiate events in Central Ohio, especially with Ohio Dominican now established in Division II athletics.
The NCAA Division III Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships this weekend, will be held at historic Selby Field, which is the oldest track & field facility built to Olympic specifications, and have an estimated $2.5 million economic impact in visitor spending with an estimated 5,000 attendees each day and 800 athletes, 500 coaches, trainers and staff, plus 180 officials. The indoor championships at Capital had an estimated economic impact of one million dollars. Combined that is $3.5 million dollars of revenue to Central Ohio through the travel, hospitality, food and retail industries.
A special note of congratulations goes to both Ohio Wesleyan and Capital for their leadership in attracting these events to Central Ohio. This is also the third straight year the Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships have been hosted in Ohio (2009 – Marietta College, 2010 – Baldwin Wallace, 2011).