This Year, You Can Watch Track All Summer Long On ESPN
With the goal of increasing the sport’s fan base, a 10-meet series will be broadcast live on ESPN starting May 15.
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This summer, the American Track League and the newly formed Pro Track Series will broadcast a full season of Track and Field on ESPN, live.
The goals behind the 10-meet series are both simple and far-reaching: “We want to build a season fans can follow each year and more earning opportunities domestically for our stars,” said Jesse Williams of Sound Running.
At each event, athletes will have the opportunity to earn prize money, but to incentivize more participation, there will be an overall prize purse based on a point system that will run the duration of the season.
The series will start this Friday, May 14 in Irvine, California with a special ‘Under the Lights’ extended coverage that costs $5.99. The live ESPN broadcast will happen on Saturday May 15.
In the first weekend of events, big names like Emma Coburn, Sally Kipyego, Sara Hall, and Elle Purrier will hopefully draw in viewership.
Coburn shared her excitement, stating that, “creating more domestic opportunities for U.S. athletes has never been more important. With travel restrictions and various unknowns that athletes have faced in the last year, domestic opportunities are often the only option for athletes. I’m excited for this series for U.S. athletes!”
The series was created under the collective effort of American Track League founder Paul Doyle and a handful of meet directors including Williams; Blake Bolden, director of the Drake Relays; and Dave Milner of the Music City Track Carnival.
With a successful indoor season completed last winter that consisted of four meets, the League received praise and encouragement to continue. “I had a blast competing at the American Track League this indoor season, and I’m excited to see the league progress to the outdoor circuit,” said six-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix. “ESPN has made the right decision in continuing the partnership. It is so great to have more opportunities to compete on our home soil and eventually to have fans back in seats cheering us on.”
After an uncertain year, fans and athletes alike need reason to be hopeful about the trajectory of track and field. “This is a platform that has been built by the athletes for the athletes and it has me feeling really positive about the future of the sport,” said Doyle.
The full schedule is as follows:
|Meet 1||May 14||Track Meet||Irvine, CA|
|Meet 2||May 31||Duval County Challenge||Jacksonville, FL|
|Meet 3||June 6||Music City Track Carnival||Nashville, TN|
|Meet 4||July 4||Stars and Stripes Classic||Atlanta, GA|
|Meet 5||July 10||ATL-SacTown||Sacramento, CA|
|Meet 6||July 17||ATL-Meet of Angels||Los Angeles, CA|
|Meet 7||July 24||ATL-Classy San Diego||San Diego, CA|
|Meet 8||Aug 14||Ed Murphy Classic||Memphis, TN|
|Meet 9||Aug 18||ATL||Seattle, WA|
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