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Major Track and Field Events Making Albuquerque Indoor Track Capital of the World

USATF, NCAA Indoor Championships demonstrate viability of sports tourism in local economy

Mayor Tim Keller and Visit Albuquerque touted the Duke City’s developing reputation as the indoor track and field capital of the world as they welcomed the return of the 2020 Toyota USATF Indoor Championships and the 2020 NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championships. The two major track meets are estimated to inject more than $1 million into the local economy, adding momentum to Mayor Keller’s efforts to capitalize on sports tourism to the benefit of local jobs and businesses. Many of the competing athletes will go on to compete in the Olympics and for World Championships.

“We have made Albuquerque a go-to destination for major sports events in the southwest,” stated Mayor Keller. “From Senior Games to soccer, softball to BMX, and now the two biggest indoor track events in the country, we’re putting our city on a global stage. We look forward to great competition and wish all the competing athletes – especially our UNM Lobos – the best of luck.”

"We are honored to have been selected as the host city for these world-class sporting events," said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. "Our weather, altitude, state-of-the-art facilities, first-class hospitality and local expertise have all contributed to Albuquerque becoming increasingly recognized as the Indoor Track Capital of the World. We are grateful for the partnerships and collaboration that allow for us to continue to bring events of this caliber to Albuquerque, as well as the positive impact these events have on our community.”

More than 400 elite athletes will descend upon Albuquerque for the USATF Indoor Championships, which will take place February 14-15. The two-day competition is an opportunity for Burqueños to watch the country’s best track and field athletes vie for national titles in events from 60 to 3,000 meters, all field events, and 3,000-meter race walks. When Albuquerque last hosted the USATF Indoor Championships in 2018, a new world record was set in the men’s 60 meters competition and a new American record was set in the 60 meters hurdles event.

As the premier event of the indoor season, the Toyota USATF Indoor Championships will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Group properties and USATF.tv+. Tickets for the championships are now on sale at USATF.org/tickets, and the complete schedule can be found on the USATF website.

Hosted by the University of New Mexico, Visit Albuquerque, and the City of Albuquerque, the NCAA Indoor Championships will take place March 13-14 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The meet will feature hundreds of Division 1 student-athletes from around the country. This is just the second time historically that UNM has hosted the championship meet. The first time in 2014 was the first NCAA Championships in history to be held at altitude.

The City of Albuquerque purchased the indoor track in 2004 for $520,000. Since the 2005 season, the City in partnership with Visit Albuquerque, and the University of New Mexico has hosted dozens of track meets that have brought in more than $20 million to Albuquerque’s economy. Last year, the Albuquerque City Council approved Mayor Keller’s proposal to invest $2.5 million from Lodger’s Tax bonds to purchase a new state-of-the-art indoor track that will allow Albuquerque to continue to attract high-quality events like the USATF and NCAA Indoor Championships. The new track is expected to make its debut for the 2021 season.