July 23, 1982
On this day, the National Sports Festival, an event sponsored by the United States Olympic Committee, commenced on the IUPUI campus. The festival, featuring track-and-field, swimming, and other sporting competitions, tested the recently completed IUPUI track stadium and Natatorium. Running through July 31, the competition attracted over 2,600 athletes, more than 800 coaches and trainers, 3,000 volunteers, as well as national media. IUPUI garnered significant national attention from the event.
The National Sports Festival was one of the first major sporting events brought to Indianapolis in the city's efforts to brand itself the "amateur sports capital." IUPUI's new sports venues were important assets in the city's ambitions. The Festival served as a training experience for an even larger event, the Pan American Games, which the city and IUPUI hosted in 1987.
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