The track programs are doing something kind of unique this week, hosting a relay meet that will go head-to-head with the prestigious Penn Relays and Drake Relays. Arkansas is calling this the National Relay Championships and has some top programs at John McDonnell Field for the event, which begins tonight and will be televised by SEC Network tomorrow night. Here are a couple of stories on the meet and the inspiration:
Arkansas is doing this to revive national interest in coming to Fayetteville for outdoor meets. The Razorbacks have arguably the nation’s top indoor facility, but the outdoor meets have increasingly been sent elsewhere, notably to Oregon, which is about to tear down Hayward Field and replace it with a 30,000-seat stadium. Texas won the bid to host the NCAA outdoor meet in 2019 and 2020. Arkansas also bid for the meet. The Razorbacks last hosted the NCAA outdoor championships in 2009.
Mike Myers Stadium in Austin has 250% of the capacity of McDonnell Field, 200% when we bring in the bleachers. And Texas people have turned out for the Texas Relays for decades. I’m surprised we ever got the Outdoors at all between Nike U and EOE.