The importance here is in relation to the death of the adidas Classic at SoCal's Home Depot Center. The meet has been horribly attended and poorly covered and deserved its death. Writer Geoff LaTulippe sheds some insight when he describes the crowd at a Lakers game:
I hated most of the people I encountered at this game, and that's for one reason and one reason only: This is L.A., and the poseurs content of any remotely acclaimed public event is high. Wannabe high rollers in sportcoats. Chicks in high heels. Ed Hardy shirts. Little dogs in purses. I loathe the existence of these people -- those who go to a game not for the game, but to be seen. The Lakers' season is like a 41-game convention for the abhorrent. And sadly ... they're the huge chunk of the attendees.With the outstanding exception of the Texas Relays, a track meet is simply not a place you go so people can look at you. Ditto for a football game. So it's no accident that both track and the NFL have beat an exit from L.A. And neither seems to be much the worse for it.
There was someone sitting in the front row near someone else who might or might not have been Kevin Connolly who got up and walked out at one point; Alison brought him to my attention. Dude was wearing a wool hat, a leather jacket and a scarf. A scarf. A scarf at an indoor sporting event in Los Angeles. Oh my God.
I knew Lakers games attracted the attention seekers like crazy-lame moths to a candle, but I didn't realize how completely they inundated the place.
Yeah, track in the USA has its problems. But the lack of pro-level competition in Los Angeles simply isn't an important issue. Track does have a major presence in New York, which is the media capitol of the world; that the Millrose Games is a sad shadow of what it used to be is far worse for track than its absence in SoCal.