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There’s going to be a lot more track on ESPN


The American Track League and Pro Track Series announced last week that they’re combining their efforts and creating a 10-meet domestic track series that will air live on ESPN in 2021. This means more competitive opportunities and greater exposure for athletes, more chances to earn prize money, ideally higher quality broadcasts, and it gives fans something more cohesive to follow. The events that don’t make it into the ESPN broadcast windows will be livestreamed elsewhere.

The current schedule is as follows:

May 15, The Track Meet, Los Angeles, CA
May 31, Iowa High Performance, Des Moines, IA
June 5, Music City Track Carnival, Nashville, TN
July 4, American Track League, Atlanta, GA
July 10, American Track League, Sacramento, CA
July 17, American Track League, Los Angeles, CA
July 24, American Track League, San Diego, CA
August 14, Ed Murphey Classic, Memphis, TN
August 18, American Track League, Seattle, WA
Meet 10, TBD

The first meet in the series, the Track Meet, has already announced its fields and should feature some quality races. It’s good to see this teamwork within the industry among people with solid track records, and because of it, I’m feeling more optimistic that this could have more staying power than other similar efforts in the past. And here’s hoping that they eventually decide to include a stop in the Northeast.

(This is not to be confused with USATF’s previously announced USATF Journey to Gold - Tokyo Outdoor Track & Field Series, which is already under way, and the dates don’t conflict. The next meet, the USATF Golden Games and Distance Open at Mt. SAC, takes place on Sunday. As I write this, the fields haven’t been announced yet, but given the prize money, TV coverage, and gold label status of the event, I expect them to be good. The event will air on NBC and Peacock from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, and it looks like maybe the races outside that window will be on