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Drake Stadium schedules Blue Oval Showcase in lieu of Relays

In lieu of the Drake Relays this year, Drake University is planning on hosting a one-day event for professional track and field athletes.

The Blue Oval Showcase Presented by Mediacom will take place on August 23 and will be conducted within the parameters of Drake campus, Des Moines and State of Iowa officials to make sure it will be as safe as possible.

There will be no fans at Drake Stadium for the event, as only the athletes and credentialed staff (event and support staff) are going to be allowed in the seating area.

There will be physical distancing guidelines and masks will be mandatory where applicable, and transportation and hotel accommodation will be regulated by state and local protocols as well.

“For months, our staff has been in constant communication and collaboration with local leadership and USA Track & Field to create an event that returns the sport of track and field to competition safely,” Blake Boldon, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays, said Monday. “With the health and well-being of the athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and our community of paramount concern, we’re excited to be the first significant professional track & field competition to be staged on American soil since March.”

Mediacom will sponsor the event just as the company sponsors the Drake Relays each year.

“We are excited to partner with the Drake Relays on this entirely new and unique event,” Mediacom SVP of Field Operations Ed Pardini said. “Mediacom is always on the cutting edge of what’s next and this innovative showcase is exactly that.”

Sprints, hurdles, field events and USATF 1 Mile Road Championships will be contested during the event, with athletes running in every other lane. Athletes will have to provide proof of a negative COVID test to travel to the event, and will be subject to another test prior to the start of the competition.

Drake said there would be more details and a schedule of events to come soon.

“While we were disappointed to postpone the 111th Drake Relays presented by Xtream, it was certainly the right decision given the thousands of competitors and spectators that would be on our campus and community during our annual week-long celebration,” Boldon said. “But we are excited and confident, with the encouragement of our local partners, that we can host an event such as the Blue Oval Showcase with the safety protocols we have in place.”

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