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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Spectators Treated Right

In case you're unaware, a new track facility opened this year in the far-flung Cleveland suburb of Geneva. Called the GaREAT Sports Complex (for Geneva Area Recreational Athletic Trust), it also houses facilities for baseball, basketball, football, softball, soccer and volleyball.

From a competitor's standpoint the indoor track facility may be the best in the nation, rivaling those in Fayetteville and College Station.  The track is an 8-lane 300 meter oval, with 10 lane straightaways on both the front and backstretch (allowing a Penn Relays-style alternating straightaway sprints/hurdles).  That, plus gobs of field event space, allows for more athletes to compete at any one time and this the meets don't take all damn day (or at least as much of it).
video

But here's the real kicker: the people who built this place approached it from the standpoint of a stadium, the place where Americans love to stuff their gaping maws.
Straight Away Cafe brings you more than your typical concession stand. While featuring all your favorites including warm soft pretzels, plump hot dogs & buttery popcorn, we also offer fresh fruit, pasta salad & delicious wraps. Wash down your lunch with a cold 7-UP or a real fruit smoothie. Here at the crack of dawn?…no worries, we offer a fantastic 100% Columbian bean coffee, French vanilla cappuccino as well as muffins, donuts & other morning favorites. All the items you come to expect from a concession stand and a whole lot more.
And for Saturday's meet, spectators have the option of buying the following...
GaREAT Sports Complex is a one-stop shop! Watch your favorite athletes from the stands and second floor mezzanine, catch up on emails and surf the net thanks to our wi-fi service, and fill up on great food and beverages without ever leaving the complex!

A buffet will be open all day Saturday on the mezzanine level. You'll be able to enjoy a freshly prepared meal without missing any of the events or leaving the building!
I won't be out there this weekend. But I plan to do so in the future. The men's teams on tap are led by #20 Wisconsin, plus distance-only squads from #13 Oklahoma and #24 Princeton; women's teams will be led by the distance runners from #20 Oklahoma. Beside the NCAA D-I squads, there will also be Guelph (ON), currently ranked #2 in Canada's CIS.

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