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hcarrow
January 31st, 2012, 08:51 AM
Given the extensive discussion on the Nationals Discussion Forum regarding Gold Medal Sponsorship, I thought it might be helpful to provide accurate information on the Sponsorship directly from the source:
We readily acknowledge that the price went up dramatically this year for Short Cours Nationals. Typically Gold Medal Sponsorship has included food and beverage and has run around $75.
The reason for the increase by $100 to $175 is because for the first-time ever, Nationals are being held in an aquatic center that is a part of a major sports & entertainment complex, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. As such, the management of the complex runs the Aquatic Center similar to the arena, convention hall, ACC Hall of Champions, and other destination attractions at the site. That includes requiring that all catering and food services utilize the onsite professional catering services of Ovations. Ovations charges every user group at price levels that would be similar to those at a major convention hotel in your community.
Initially, those of us responsible for running the meet didn't even want to have a Gold Medal Sponsorship that included food, because we knew the higher cost would give people pause. However, in discussions with the USMS Championship Committee it was felt that Gold Medal should still be offered.
Gold Medal Sponsorship at this year's Spring Nationals, even though priced at $175, will not contribute a dime to the meet. That $175, due to the higher catering/food costs, is a breakeven price (at best--we may still go in the hole a little bit even at that price). While this defeats the original purpose of Gold Medal Sponsorship, which was to benefit both the swimmer (with a good onsite food option) and the meet (with some of the funds left over to contribute to the meet bottom line), at least it will provide the food option for those desiring that.
Because we realized that price point might be tough to digest for some, we created a Silver Medal Sponsorship for $50. This is especially designed for those who did the Gold Medal Sponsorship previously, primarily because they wanted to contribute financially to the meet. While the Silver Medal Sponsorship does include the nice Officials Reception on Thursday evening, there should be a little $$ left over to help the meet funding.
Finally, for those who want their food, a more visible sponsorship, and to help the meet financially, too, we created the Event Sponsorship at $300. We have had several takers on this already.
Just so all USMS swimmers know, we fully understand and agree with you that this is not ideal, and we'll be working with the Coliseum management with a goal to try to come up with a more desirable and affordable arrangement going forward, but at least for this first major Masters meets (and all other meets this year, including Synchro Olympic Trials, Y Nationals, Diving Nationals, etc.), the system as I've described above is what we are dealing with.
And it might be helpful to know that Greensboro is not the only meet venue in this situation. Omaha, site of Long Course Nationals, is wrestling with this same issue. Tom Boak, Meet Director, for Summer Nationals, and I have been emailing back and forth on this. Because the summer championships are in an arena complex in Omaha, they are experiencing very similar pricing as we are experiencing in Greensboro. We will be watching them closely to see if they can work out an improved system, that maybe we can convince Greensboro facilities to follow in the future.
I'd like to end by saying that we are dedicated to having an excellent Nationals at an outstanding new venue, and we invite each and every one of you to come to Greensboro for some great times. We want to host future Nationals there, so perhaps if you come and give us some valuable feedback and good ideas for enhancing future meets, it will help us, the venue, and Masters swimming for many years to come.
Hill Carrow
Co-Meet Director, 2012 USMS Spring Nationals

swoomer
January 31st, 2012, 09:08 AM
Thank you for the concise explanation of the GMS fee at Greensboro. For me, this is not doable.

The question remains regarding "outside food." Does that preclude sports and protein drinks, energy bars and gels?

swimmieAvsFan
January 31st, 2012, 09:19 AM
Thank you for the concise explanation of the GMS fee at Greensboro. For me, this is not doable.

The question remains regarding "outside food." Does that preclude sports and protein drinks, energy bars and gels?

Hill, if you're around, the bolded above is what started a lot of the discussion on the thread yesterday. An answer to that would be greatly appreciated!

Betsy
January 31st, 2012, 01:46 PM
Thank you, Hill. I appreciate the explanation.

ElaineK
January 31st, 2012, 02:43 PM
Thank you for the concise explanation of the GMS fee at Greensboro. For me, this is not doable.

The question remains regarding "outside food." Does that preclude sports and protein drinks, energy bars and gels?

+1 ; same comment, same question. Thanks, Swoomer!

swimmieAvsFan
January 31st, 2012, 03:36 PM
Seriously, this is bordering on lunacy and hysteria. Smuggle in your Luna bar and Ensure. You won't go to prison.

No, you may not go to prison, but if the staff at GAC is planning on enforcing the no outside food/drink rule, they are well within their rights to ask folks to either throw out/dump the offending substance, or even to leave the facility.

For some of us, this is a legitimate concern as we plan for nationals. I also get that you don't like ElaineK, but she's not the only one asking, nor is she even the one who started the questions.

Rob Copeland
January 31st, 2012, 03:44 PM
The question remains regarding "outside food." Does that preclude sports and protein drinks, energy bars and gels?As mentioned on a parallel thread I suggest you raise your question via email directly with one of the co-meet directorís. They should be able to provide answers to your questions. Their contact information can be found in the Nationalís section of the web site. http://www.usms.org/content/scnats12meetinfo

ElaineK
January 31st, 2012, 06:50 PM
As mentioned on a parallel thread I suggest you raise your question via email directly with one of the co-meet directorís. They should be able to provide answers to your questions. Their contact information can be found in the Nationalís section of the web site. http://www.usms.org/content/scnats12meetinfo

Thanks; I just sent an e-mail to Hill.

That Guy
January 31st, 2012, 09:40 PM
Smuggle in protein drink mix in a baby powder container. Stick it to the man!

ElaineK
January 31st, 2012, 09:49 PM
Smuggle in protein drink mix in a baby powder container. Stick it to the man!

Yeah, I can just see it now; gals hanging out in the locker room drinking out of their baby powder containers, trying to evade the food/drink police in the stands and poolside... :bolt:

Chris Stevenson
February 1st, 2012, 09:28 AM
I think that people are making too much of this situation. This is a small bump in the road (if that), all things considered.

Yes, there was sticker shock for the Gold Medal sponsorship, but people were swimming fast at nationals long before there was such a thing. The "no outside food" rule is not all that uncommon; at many of the meets I have been to I see a similar sign on the outside of the facility, or one that prohibits food on pool decks. Most people happily ignore the signs, or just use the concession stands or make other arrangements.

More generally, I would encourage people to adopt a flexible attitude in approaching swim meets. Routines are psychologically comforting but physically I think they are barely a step up from mere superstition. Things don't always go as planned; be adaptable. I promise you'll be a better swimmer for it.

Also -- and I say this with the utmost fondness for all of you :) -- you won't sound like such crotchety old geezers. Or worse yet, diva sprinters.... :bolt:

The Fortress
February 1st, 2012, 09:57 AM
The "no outside food" rule is not all that uncommon; at many of the meets I have been to I see a similar sign on the outside of the facility, or one that prohibits food on pool decks. Most people happily ignore the signs, or just use the concession stands or make other arrangements.

That's certainly what I was planning to do! But I'm a diva sprinter and natural born rule breaker. I would suppose others are less comfortable with breaking rules or may want some certainty about the situation. For those with food allergies and intolerances, certainly about what they are ingesting is likely a way of life and necessity for good health.

swoomer
February 1st, 2012, 10:25 AM
What would Michael Phelps do? Hmmmm...???

swimmieAvsFan
February 1st, 2012, 10:54 AM
...The "no outside food" rule is not all that uncommon; at many of the meets I have been to I see a similar sign on the outside of the facility, or one that prohibits food on pool decks. Most people happily ignore the signs, or just use the concession stands or make other arrangements.

More generally, I would encourage people to adopt a flexible attitude in approaching swim meets. Routines are psychologically comforting but physically I think they are barely a step up from mere superstition. Things don't always go as planned; be adaptable. I promise you'll be a better swimmer for it...


Chris, I'll concede the point about seeing those types of signs and not having problems with them in the past. However, after I noticed the line in the meet announcement for G'boro, I actually went back and looked at other years' announcements to see if I could find anything similar for prior meets. And I didn't. Which, to me, indicated that there was going to be a change in policy.

For some of us, just using the concessions available aren't an option. I unfortunately have some foods that are known triggers for causing a nauseatingly severe case of acid reflux, even at practice. And also unfortunately for me, these tend to be the kind of things that are readily available at the average concession stand. This is also without having any food intolerances/allergies, so I can't even imagine how hard it would be for folks who have diagnosed problems.

I'm constantly trying to expand what I can consume before workouts and races, but nationals is not the optimal venue to try new things. My adaptation? Bringing in outside food and beverage. Hence the :worms: I opened by asking a simple question.

slowcat
February 1st, 2012, 11:16 AM
I've been to four USAS meets at the GAC. The "no food or drink on deck" notices are scattered around the place, and the "no outside food or beverage" has been mentioned in the information for those meets. However, I've never seen it enforced- participants have been bringing in whatever they want. It'd be very interesting if they all of a sudden chose the USMS event to start enforcing the rule.

Chris Stevenson
February 1st, 2012, 11:32 AM
I unfortunately have some foods that are known triggers for causing a nauseatingly severe case of acid reflux, even at practice. And also unfortunately for me, these tend to be the kind of things that are readily available at the average concession stand. This is also without having any food intolerances/allergies, so I can't even imagine how hard it would be for folks who have diagnosed problems.

If anyone gives you a hard time (which I doubt) then I think all you would have to do is explain this. I bet the worst thing they would do is insist that you don't eat on the pool deck.

These are North Carolinians, after all, and inherently nice. I watched my son swim at the Triangle Aquatic Center (Cary, NC) a couple weeks ago, and they had menacing signs prohibiting outside food and drink in the entire facility. I waltzed in with my McDonald's cup of coffee without anyone giving me a glare.

swimmieAvsFan
February 1st, 2012, 12:06 PM
I've been to four USAS meets at the GAC. The "no food or drink on deck" notices are scattered around the place, and the "no outside food or beverage" has been mentioned in the information for those meets. However, I've never seen it enforced- participants have been bringing in whatever they want. It'd be very interesting if they all of a sudden chose the USMS event to start enforcing the rule.

And the bolded was all I was looking for. I had no idea a simple question like that was going to get to this point...


If anyone gives you a hard time (which I doubt) then I think all you would have to do is explain this. I bet the worst thing they would do is insist that you don't eat on the pool deck.

These are North Carolinians, after all, and inherently nice. I watched my son swim at the Triangle Aquatic Center (Cary, NC) a couple weeks ago, and they had menacing signs prohibiting outside food and drink in the entire facility. I waltzed in with my McDonald's cup of coffee without anyone giving me a glare.

Not eating on the pool deck is a fine compromise, if that's what it comes to. I was just looking for clarification to know if I was going to run the risk of getting booted from the facility. Also, I was definitely banking on the "inherently nice" North Carolinians angle as my backup plan ;)

jroddin
February 1st, 2012, 12:47 PM
I think that people are making too much of this situation. This is a small bump in the road (if that), all things considered.

Yes, there was sticker shock for the Gold Medal sponsorship, but people were swimming fast at nationals long before there was such a thing. The "no outside food" rule is not all that uncommon; at many of the meets I have been to I see a similar sign on the outside of the facility, or one that prohibits food on pool decks. Most people happily ignore the signs, or just use the concession stands or make other arrangements.

More generally, I would encourage people to adopt a flexible attitude in approaching swim meets. Routines are psychologically comforting but physically I think they are barely a step up from mere superstition. Things don't always go as planned; be adaptable. I promise you'll be a better swimmer for it.



We all need to look up to Chris both in the pool and outside of the pool. His comments above are well stated.

I also tend to think the louder we get with this tremendous inquisition the more likely we'll get what we fear (random bag checks, food sniffing dogs, xray machines... before you know it they'll ban Wookie for having too much hair and Paul Smith for being too tall LOL). Just go about with your normal business using common sense without bringing attention to yourself and you should be fine.

As swimmieAvsFan would say, "relax, breathe, this is supposed to be fun..." :bolt:

Rob Copeland
February 1st, 2012, 02:15 PM
I also tend to think the louder we get with this tremendous inquisition the more likely we'll get what we fear...Thanks Jeff

Is there any truth to the rumor that you will be filling your shampoo bottle with PowerAid and packing your Speedo with macaroni in Greensboro?

ALM
February 1st, 2012, 02:48 PM
....and packing your Speedo with macaroni in Greensboro?

Now THERE'S a visual image I could have lived without...

The Fortress
February 1st, 2012, 04:06 PM
I also tend to think the louder we get with this tremendous inquisition the more likely we'll get what we fear (random bag checks, food sniffing dogs, xray machines...

Could be!

Love it, tacit mass defiance followed by loud mass compliance (anthem).

That Guy
February 1st, 2012, 04:18 PM
#OccupyGreensboro

Allen Stark
February 2nd, 2012, 01:45 PM
Every pool says take a cleansing shower before entering too.How often is that enforced?

swoomer
February 2nd, 2012, 07:23 PM
It's easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. The fact that there has been no "official word" tells me that the organizers do not want to make a public statement one way or another on this topic. I think that as long as we're not having food fights on the pool deck, all will be fine. Do what you have to do and don't make a scene. That's my take.

erinmbshields
February 15th, 2012, 07:05 PM
Really- being too tall is the first thing you think Paul would get in trouble for?! :)

Paul Smith
February 15th, 2012, 07:37 PM
Really- being too tall is the first thing you think Paul would get in trouble for?! :)

I'm shrinking these days...

GMS is a very misunderstood concept to the average person who has never been involved with the operational side of hosting a meet...the assumption is its a moneymaker but when you start adding up the costs of feeding all of the volunteers, officials, coaches and "VIP's" that the host is required to cover IF you make any profit its almost not worth the amount of work that's involved.

The problem with having a meet hosted at a venue where concessions (and most likely all other operational duties) are required per union rules to be run through them vs. volunteers is you pay hourly wages regardless of how many people pay for the services/food..I'd be concerned about how much money they could lose as well.

aquageek
February 16th, 2012, 06:46 AM
...are required per union rules to be run through them vs. volunteers is you pay hourly wages regardless of how many people pay for the services/food..I'd be concerned about how much money they could lose as well.

Unions? This is the South, man. Good explanation, however.

Paul Smith
February 16th, 2012, 10:01 AM
Unions? This is the South, man. Good explanation, however.

Hah!

All joking aside....having traveled to conventions for business the last 20 years I can tell you what its like being forced to eat food by the companies that run these concession services...$7 hot dogs, $10 sandwiches, loads of other crap so over priced its crazy. Hopefully the folks in NC have a better selection but if I was going I'd be bringing my own food in!

aquageek
February 16th, 2012, 10:36 AM
I'm sure the prices are high at the Coliseum. They have been since I attended my first event there back in 1982, which, incidentally, was the Def Leppard concert with featured opening act Billy Squier.

You caused this whole problem since food at Nationals in Mesa was basically free and now the whiny whiners are all up in arms. I guess this is just you giving back to the USMS community.

lisalou
February 16th, 2012, 06:07 PM
The food offered at the concessions stand at the Greensboro Aquatic Center is actually pretty reasonable in price. It's the cost of the food that will be provided for volunteers and for Gold Medal Sponsors that is very pricey (but good!).

ALM
February 16th, 2012, 06:46 PM
The food offered at the concessions stand at the Greensboro Aquatic Center is actually pretty reasonable in price. It's the cost of the food that will be provided for volunteers and for Gold Medal Sponsors that is very pricey (but good!).

Lisa, could you give us an idea of what type of food is sold at the concession stands?

jroddin
February 17th, 2012, 08:57 AM
Lisa, could you give us an idea of what type of food is sold at the concession stands?

Lisa and I are making an official site visit to Greensboro next weekend (Feb 24-25). We'll report back our findings here.

Jeff

SwimStud
February 17th, 2012, 08:32 PM
I've already paid. I will be gaining weight over the weekend as I consume my $175 worth of food and drink.