Brookline, MA – April 16, 2015USATF-NE, the New England association of track & field’s national governing body, USA Track & Field (USATF), today announces a public challenge from its President, Tom Derderian, for the Boston 2024 Organizing Committee. A former Olympic Trials competitor, running historian and author, Derderian issues the following challenge to those organizing the potential Olympic Games to be held in Boston in 2024:

“The Olympics originated as a track & field meet to demonstrate cooperation between nations, so here is our challenge to the academic, business and government communities to test the concept of cooperation. Boston has many colleges and many high schools and many tracks, but none of them are suitable for a full championship meet within a stadium. Spectators cannot sit in one place and watch an entire track meet but have to move to an adjacent field for the throwing events. New York has a stadium at Randall’s Island that seats 5,000 and can hold all Olympic events within sight of seated spectators. If New York City can have one, why not Boston? If we can’t make a small stadium for a single sport, how can we build a large stadium and the other facilities for all Olympic sports? Show us that you all can really work together on a small thing first. This proof of concept would go a long way toward earning the trust of at least the track & field community and maybe the rest of Massachusetts.”

Further explaining the basis for his challenge, Derderian says the 5,000 or so seat stadium allowing all spectators to view all events from their seats would prove that the disparate entities – business, academics and government – can get along and build something as big as the modern Olympic Games requires.  A small permanent track & field stadium in the Greater Boston area that can be used for big high school meets, college meets, national championships, Olympic Trials and International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) events would serve as a sound practice strategy, he says.

Derderian also observes that “None of the large Division I colleges in Boston—Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University or Harvard University— have a suitable track. Boston has three world-class indoor tracks, but no world-class outdoor track.” He again states his challenge by questioning: “Can the business community work with the schools to make this small stadium a reality? Can the government expedite all the permit work and get local high schools to share the stadium as much as they already share the indoor track at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center, which is managed with grace and precision?”

How can the Boston 2024 Organizing Committee meet this challenge? Derderian advises they first find a place for the new track which would require the same list-making as for all Olympic venues. By meeting this challenge and organizing the location, design, building and management of a small quickly-built, permanent track & field stadium, Boston 2024 would garner support from and leave a legacy for the track & field community.

To learn more about Derderian’s Boston 2024 challenge, email him at tderderi@ix.netcom.com.

 

Media Relations Contact

Jenny Gardynski

USATF-NE Communications Manager

jgardynski@usatfne.org