Millrose Games to expand to ‘all day’ Saturday program, move to The Armory


Article from The Daily News by Wayne Coffey




NEW YORK, May 13, 2011 – Beginning next year, the Millrose Games will move from Madison Square Garden to the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Washington Heights.


``The Millrose Games deserves the best track possible especially in this performance driven sport with the London Summer Olympics just around the corner,’’ said Dr. Norbert Sander, president of the Millrose Games. ``The Armory is just that exceptional place to compete for professionals, collegiate, and high school stars in the modern track era.’’


The 105th Millrose Games will take place Saturday, January 28 at its new location.


Since 1914, the Armory has been the host of innumerable track and field competitions that featured celebrated athletes Paavo Nurmi, Carl Lewis, Al Oerter, Bob Beamon, Alan Webb and most recently five-time American record holder and eight-time Wanamaker Mile winner Bernard Lagat.


During the past 18 years the Armory has undergone $50 million in renovations. The staple of its restoration is a 200-meter banked Mondo track that gives the Armory the ``world’s fastest indoor surface’’ and makes it a very attractive venue for the nation’s best runners to train and compete during the indoor season.


Each year the Amory hosts more than 100 indoor track and field meets including the country’s largest indoor collegiate meet (New Balance Collegiate Invitational) and the national high school championship (New Balance Indoor Nationals), welcoming altogether more than 125,000 individual athletes.


Lagat, an Olympic medalist and America’s distance standout, said after breaking the national two-mile indoor record at the Armory that he’s ``been waiting to race here since 2001. It was my dream to race here. So I achieved my dream and broke the record.’’


An expanded Millrose Games format will allow fans to attend a Saturday morning/afternoon session and an evening session at the Armory.


The Saturday morning program will begin at 10 a.m. with more college, high school, open and masters events leading up to the traditional Millrose schedule from 5-9 p.m. concluding with the Wanamaker Men’s Mile.


The Armory, home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame since 2004, can accommodate more than 8,000 spectators for the daylong event. It is positioned centrally for transportation throughout the tri-state area.


Additionally, the 105th Millrose Games will be televised regionally and nationally.


``Unlike the previous tight Friday night schedule, the Saturday format allows for more athletes to experience these great games, a true New York and national tradition,’’ Sander said. ``Most importantly let us not forget the tremendous contributions made to the sport by Madison Square Garden, the Howard Schmertz family who oversaw this wonderful event there for many, many years and USA Track & Field.”


Significant track and field coaches and athletes alike have expressed their affection for the Armory and believe it’s an ideal host for the Millrose Games, including:


Gold medal winner in 2004 Summer Olympic (4x400 relay) Sanya Richards: ``I love training at the Armory and I remember running here in high school. It’s perfect. I wish I could do it again.’’


Jim Mitchell, famed 30-year track and field coach of Bronxville High School: ``The possibilities for the Millrose Games are endless at the Armory. There is so much more to offer for all, the high school, college or professional athlete. I’m looking forward to my athletes running very fast times and competing with the very best athletes.’’


Gold medal winner in ’96 Summer Olympics (400 meter hurdles) and Armory track & field director Derrick Adkins: ``While a 200 meter banked track, like the Armory’s used to be a luxury for track athletes when I ran in college and internationally, today it is a necessity especially for world-class athletes. I believe the majority of the current world-class athletes will prefer running at the Armory.’’


Holder of Irish mile record, International sports agent and two-time Olympian Ray Flynn: ``I am excited that the Millrose Games will be moving to the Armory. I’m confident that its rich history and legacy will be preserved and celebrated there.’’


About the Armory Foundation:

A non-profit organization based in New York City, the Armory hosts over 100 indoor track & field meets yearly with over 125,000 individual athletes. Besides its many youth sports and educational programs, the Armory directs the Hispanic Games, The New Balance Games, and the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory the largest indoor college meet nationally and home to the National Track & Field Museum. The Armory is additionally the owner of the Millrose Games. For more information please visit: