Deaconess Aquatic Center to host biggest event since opening

Deaconess Aquatic Center to host biggest event since opening
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:53 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) is holding its men’s and women’s swimming and diving championships at Evansville’s Deaconess Aquatic Center.

It’s the biggest event the facility has hosted since it opened in Oct. 2021.

“We have a great reputation for sports tourism, this just opens yet another door for swimming and diving,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.

19 GLVC teams will compete in the four-and-a-half day meet, starting Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Winnecke says the GLVC has some of the best talent in NCAA Division II swimming and diving.

“You’ll see world-class swimming going on here at the aquatic center,” Winnecke said.

Evansville has become a familiar home for NCAA events, hosting the Ohio Valley Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments regularly.

Now, the city is expanding its sports reach.

“In basketball, if a team loses, they go home,” said Jennifer Brown, the operations manager of the aquatic center. “In swimming, a swimmer could swim all four days, so you have people staying in Evansville for four days.”

The aquatic center can hold 1,000 people. Winnecke says that capacity might be put to the test next week — bringing an economic boost to the city, too.

“We’re bringing people from out of town into Evansville,” Winnecke said. “They’re staying in our hotels, eating at our restaurants, shopping at our stores and we’re exposing Evansville to people who maybe have never heard of Evansville before.”

Winnecke says Deaconess Aquatic Center was built to host world-class swimmers. Now, the facility and the city will be tested on how well they can host big swimming events.

Another premier swimming and diving event is already on the calendar. Brown says the aquatic center was picked to host the 2025-26 NCAA Division II Championships.

The GLVC Championships run from Feb. 7 through Feb. 11.