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Pac-12 swim championships move to Federal Way
The Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center will be a very busy place in a little over a month.
The Pac-12 Conference announced Wednesday afternoon that the aquatic center in Federal Way will host the Men's Swimming Championships from March 3-6.
The massive meet was originally scheduled to take place at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, Calif., but was moved to Federal Way due to an emergency closure of the facility.
The men's event will begin immediately following the women’s meet at the aquatic center, which is set to run from Feb. 27 through March 2, along with both the men's and women's diving championships.
Typically, the men's conference meet takes place the weekend after the women's meet to better mesh with the NCAA championship calendar, but the Pac-12 commissioners thought it was the easiest transition to hold the events concurrently in Federal Way.
The Belmont Pool is closed due to a draft structural analysis that concludes the facility is seismically unsafe in the event of a moderate earthquake. The seismic issue recently came to light as a result of the analysis currently under way that's related to the revitalization plan for the entire pool complex, which opened in August 1968.
The King County Aquatic Center is no stranger to conducting national and international events. It was constructed to house the swimming and diving portions of the 1990 Goodwill Games and has since been the home to more than 50 competitions annually. The aquatic center hosted the NCAA Men's National Swimming and Diving Championships in 2008 and again last year to rave reviews.
In June 2012, the pool also hosted the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Diving. The trials qualified 11 men and women for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and was broadcast to a national television audience.
A recent economic study conducted for King County measured the financial impact of these events on the region in excess of $7.5 million annually.
Both meets will be carried on tape delay on the Pac-12 Networks. For more information on the Pac-12 swimming and diving championships, visit Pac-12.com.