After exploring several options for a host site for the 2014 and 2015 AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix, USA Diving has announced formally on its website it will not hold the event the next two years but instead will provide support to the FINA Grand Prix meet in San Juan, Puerto Rico, typically held in May.
The AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix is traditionally held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., each year, and the current Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex is expected to close in the spring of 2014 while a new facility is built. The new pool is expected to be open in time for the 2016 Grand Prix season.
“While we will certainly miss being in Fort Lauderdale the next two years, we are excited to help our friends in Puerto Rico build their Grand Prix into a world-class competition. We look forward to a great partnership,” said USA Diving President and CEO Linda Paul.
Although there are other pools in the United States that could host the competition, the meet has been a Fort Lauderdale tradition for more than 40 years. When weighing the possibilities, USA Diving determined providing logistical and operational support the Puerto Rican Swimming Federation was the best decision, not only for the United States and Puerto Rico but for all countries.
In addition to helping Puerto Rico with event management, the arrangement also was made in hopes of helping lighten a competitive travel schedule that has grown in the past few years. FINA has done considerable work to grow the sport and generate additional exposure for diving, and in doing so, the number of international competitions has increased. With more meets scheduled, it can be difficult for countries to attend every competition. USA Diving is hopeful that by providing support to Puerto Rico rather than having separate events, more countries will be able to participate.
USA Diving plans to return to Fort Lauderdale in 2016 and then will alternate hosting a Grand Prix with Puerto Rico each year.