A Sprint, or a Marathon? Group Hopes to Build Indoor Track Facility

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Delaware has lacked a facility for indoor track competition since 2013 when the University of Delaware Field House was repurposed.

Since then, the state’s annual tournament has been held near Washington. This year, athletes took it outside -the championships were held in the cold due to COVID-19 protocols that limited travel.

A non-profit organization, Indoor Track Delaware, is hoping to change that as it tries to round up support for an indoor, banked-track facility that could also accommodate spectators and include amenities for other sports.

According to Indoor Track Delaware President Chuck Klous, all three counties are under consideration for the location. Whether it will be a public-private partnership and how it would be funded are among the many issues still being explored.

“We found that we could do a lot of good for the community and actually generate economic impact by having a 200-meter track facility, to accommodate 3,000 or so spectators, in the same building having space for courts that could have basketball and volleyball tournaments,” Klous said.

This week, Indoor Track Delaware released a market study conducted by Victus Advisors about the feasibility and the potential impact of a facility

“This type of facility is going to be a draw not just from within the state, but from within that five-to-six hour drivetime range really anywhere you put it within Delaware,” Brian Connolly of Victus Advisors said.

Cape Henlopen High School girls’ track coach Tim Bamforth said it would be a great relief to athletes, coaches and staff to no longer need to travel hours into another states, turning a track meet into a full-day affair.

“I really think that it’s needed in the state, being that we’re the only sport in the state without a facility. I think the public would support it,” Bamforth said. “I feel that it’s long overdue.”