Updated at 5:45 p.m.
GREENSBORO — The city will host a world-class pro swim meet in November.
The TYR Pro Swim Series will hold its first of five U.S. meets in the 2019-20 season at the Greensboro Aquatics Center from Nov. 6-9.
A strong field of international swimmers is expected to compete in the pro meet in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Past Olympians Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Ryan Murphy, Matt Grevers and Chase Kalisz were among the American stars who raced in TYR Pro Swim Series events last season.
“We’ve had our eye on this one,” said Susan Braman, manager of the Greensboro Aquatics Center, “and it’s a good example of what having this new pool we’re building brings to us. We rose right to the top of USA Swimming’s (bid) list when they saw what we were doing.”
The aquatics center broke ground on the natatorium’s fourth pool in September, and the project should be finished within the next two months, Braman said.
For big-time meets, the new pool adds precious practice space that is rare at indoor facilities.
“We’re looking at an August opening for that pool,” Braman said. “It just makes us so much more appealing. This is an international and national event with a lot of elite swimmers, and to have that much room to spread out means something.”
The TYR Pro Swim Series meets are 3½-day, long course events televised on NBCSN and the Olympic Channel. Each meet typically draws between 400 and 600 world-class swimmers.
“The TV component is exciting, too,” Braman said. “You get a Caeleb Dressel and a Katie Ledecky, and all of a sudden everyone’s watching. And the closer to the Olympics, the more spectator interest, the more attention swimming gets.”
In all, more than 1,100 American and international swimmers competed in at least one of last season’s five meets, competing for prize money totaling more than $540,000.
“We’ve done enough events now at a national level that we’re getting to be pretty experienced,” Braman said. “We’re excited to do it. We feel very good about this. Our event management staff is top-notch. And USA Swimming loves that we have the Coliseum relationship with staff and facilities. … Not a lot of swim venues have 5,000 parking spaces.”
When USA Swimming opened the bidding to host this season’s meets, Braman said Greensboro emphasized the new pool space.
It worked. Greensboro bid on two of the five sets of dates and was awarded its first choice, Braman said.
At the pro series meets, the top three in each championship final win prize money: $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. Also, the swimmer who has the highest-scoring preliminary swim (Olympic-sanctioned events only) wins $1,500.
After Greensboro, the American stops in the series are Knoxville, Tenn., in January; Des Moines, Iowa, in March; Mission Viejo, Calif., in April; and Indianapolis in May. The Tokyo Olympics are in late July.