For the first time in its short history, the TrackTown Summer Series will land in the Big Apple.
The Summer Series hits Icahn Stadium on Thursday, with four teams of 36 top track and field athletes each competing for prizes and benefits worth over $500,000. The event offers a more intimate and interactive experience than a traditional meet.
Nine-time Olympic medalist and 13-time World Championship medalist Allyson Felix will captain the New York Empire.
“It’s definitely a more exciting track meet,” the 31-year-old Felix told amNewYork. “We just want to expose people to a more entertaining side of track and field, so it’s going to be a lot of fun, kind of like a party.”
This is Felix’s first time participating in the event. She was a spectator last year, enjoying the event like everyone else while seeing the excitement and potential for growth.
“I was watching on TV and seeing how they had the mixed relays and was like, ‘This is a cool, different aspect of the sport that not everyone gets to see,’ ” said Felix, an ESPY nominee for best female U.S. Olympic athlete. “There’s not a lot of opportunities to compete on home soil, so that was a huge draw.”
Last year’s inaugural TrackTown Summer Series was held in Eugene, Oregon, with the San Francisco team taking home the title. Spectators were invited down onto the track to cheer on the athlete and children were allowed to sit on the infield grass, putting them right in the middle of the action.
Fans attending the Series on Randall’s Island can expect a similar experience.
“We’re so used to traditional sport and that aspect, and this is such a different environment and I’m excited for the fans to take part in it and to experience this different side,” Felix said.
The 8 p.m. meet in Manhattan is the last of three stops on a tour that visited San Francisco and Portland before coming east.
Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at GoTrackTownUSA.com.