Arkansas will host four professional meets on World Athletics Silver Tour

Arkansas will host four professional meets on World Athletics Silver Tour

The 2021 indoor track and field season introduces the return of professional competitions hosted by the University of Arkansas at the Randal Tyson Track Center. A series of four American Track League meets, which are part of the World Athletics Silver Tour and broadcast on ESPN/ESPN2, will be held on consecutive Sundays, starting January 24.

Each of the American Track League meets, organized by Doyle Sports Management and hosted by Arkansas, will have a two-hour broadcast on ESPN/ESPN2 to showcase the performances on the “Fastest Track in the World”.

“Things have been tough out there in hosting meets and having venues that will host meets,” noted Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “The opportunity was presented to us and for the sport of track and field and it being an Olympic year we were interested in providing a world-class venue.

“We’re very grateful to our administration, athletic director Hunter Yurachek and our facility staff enabling us to help the cause. We have a world-class venue and a lot of other cities are currently shut down. So, it was only natural for us to step in and help out.”

Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter said: “It’s an American pro series that will be held on Sunday’s following our collegiate races. Our facility continues to be upgraded and our administration does a fantastic job of making this venue one of the best there is in the world.

“Paul Doyle and associates are going to come in with ESPN’s TV window to put on some professional events. I think that just reiterates how spoiled we are in such a great facility.”

The 2012 USATF Classic, held during the same weekend as the Tyson Invitational, was the last professional meet hosted by Arkansas. It featured a pair of American records, men’s 2 mile and women’s shot put, while producing a total of eight world-leading performances among 12 events contested.

Normally, the American Track League indoor meets would have been held in four different locations, but due to the current coronavirus pandemic, plans centered on one location for all four meets. So, the Randal Tyson Track Center in the “Track Capital of the World” made for an ideal venue.

Numerous professional track and field athletes in various events currently train at Arkansas. Now they have an opportunity to compete among four World Athletics Silver Tour meets this indoor season without extended travel.

“Our local post-collegiate athletes who are training with either Bryan Compton, Chris Johnson or myself, have an opportunity to stay home and compete in quality meets on a very fast track,” noted Harter.

The Randal Tyson Track Center will have plenty of world-wide exposure among the set of four televised professional meets in the World Athletics Silver Tour, enhancing its status as a world-class track and field venue.

“It’s a huge plus for us to get our venue on TV,” stated Bucknam. “The Randal Tyson Track Center is a brand known around the world. The fact that we can get it back on TV and show off the University of Arkansas as well as the commitment we have to track and field is huge for us.”

In 2021 the indoor World Athletics Silver Tour includes 11 international meets, with Fayetteville the lone U.S. location. There are six meets on the World Athletics Gold Tour, including one U.S. location with the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix held in Boston on February 13. Nine additional European meets are part of the World Athletics Bronze Tour.

Three meets on the Silver Tour will be held in France while two more will be hosted in Germany, including one in Berlin.

The prize money allocation has been restructured to allow World Athletics to give more funds directly to the individual meetings, which will assist them to remain financially viable in these challenging times, and to maintain or increase the prize money on offer to athletes.

Each Gold meeting will offer at least $7,000 in prize money for each individual discipline on the program, including $3,000 to the winner.

Silver meetings in the expanded tour will award at least $30,000 (at least $4,000 per discipline) and Bronze meetings will offer at least $12,000 (at least $2,500 per discipline).

Copyright 2021 KAIT. All rights reserved.