NFL stadium transforms into swimming pool for Olympic trials in ‘bananas’ effort

NFL stadium transforms into swimming pool for Olympic trials in ‘bananas’ effort

THE home of the Indianapolis Colts has been transformed into a giant swimming pool to host US Olympic swimming trials.

Work has been taking place over the past month to turn the 70,000 seat Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts since 2008, into one of the world’s biggest aquatic arenas.


The pool is inside the Colts stadium and will host the US trialsCredit: Dodd Technologies, Inc.
Extensive work has been taking place in Indianapolis for the past month


Extensive work has been taking place in Indianapolis for the past monthCredit: Dodd Technologies, Inc.

The temporary pools have been flown over from Italy, while the two million gallons of water come from a fire hydrant on South Capitol Ave outside the stadium, via 6,000 feet of piping.

The stage is unlikely, but the prize is timeless. And later this month, the best swimmers in the United States will converge on the stadium.

The Paris Olympic Games starts next month and the swimmers will be desperate to get themselves a place on the plane for France.

Bobby Finke, gold medalist at the 2021 Tokyo Games, said the plans were “crazy” in a good way.

“It’s wild, bananas,” USA Swimming chief commercial officer Shana Ferguson told Yahoo Sports.

Regulars at the stadium to watch the Colts will certainly notice many changes.

The first ten rows of seats have been folded up, while bleachers have been brought from one end zone in past midfield.

A giant black curtain has been hung at the 50-yard line, dividing the cavernous building in half.

On one half is the warmup pool, and the other the centre of attention, the competition pool.

There will be 30,000 seats available to the public for each session, which is ambitious.

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But the event will be live on television every night on NBC and ramp up interest ahead of what is always one of the biggest sports at the Games.

“This is one time every four years that people are really paying attention to the sport,” Ferguson said.

“So, it needs to be a bigger show. We owe it to our athletes. Not only to the athletes who are making the Olympic team, but the six, seven, eight, nine-year-old kid who might watch the Olympic trials on TV and say, ‘That’s the sport for me’.”

Ferguson also admitted the sheer size of the stadium was “scary” and that has provided challenges.

How to watch the Olympics

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The Olympics are headed to Paris in July, but don’t worry if can’t catch a flight to France, we’ve got you covered.

You can watch all of the action from the comfort of your own home, and there’s still time to get your stream sorted:

You can also follow The U.S. Sun for all the latest from this year’s biggest sporting event.

“Whenever you try something new, everybody gets upset it won’t be perfect,” Olympic coach Bob Bowman said.

“There’ll be some things that don’t suit everybody exactly the right way.

“But I think, in the end, it’s gonna be a chance to look at a way that you can really bring in a lot more people [to swimming].

“I think it’ll be very exciting, and it’ll elevate the sport.”

The trials will take place over nine days, June 15th to 23rd.

Soon after the trials, the stadium will be transformed back for its usual role, ahead of the new NFL season starting in September.

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