It wasn’t the type of news any track fan, especially those in the Tri-State area, wanted to hear the first week of March of an Olympic year. But there it was, in a brief press release from Global Athletics & Marketing: After more than a decade showcasing world class track and field in the Big Apple, the adidas Grand Prix would not be coming back to Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island this summer.
Over the past 11 years, the meet, one of two IAAF Diamond League events in the U.S. along the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, had produced 20 national records, two world marks, and nine of the fastest performances ever recorded on American soil. Perhaps the most memorable of these was Usain Bolt’s 9.72 in 2008, when the meet was delayed almost two hours by a summer thunderstorm that sent fans scurrying beneath the stands and lit up the New York skyline with a thunderous electrical storm. When the lightning finally passed, it was the Bolt on the track who shocked those present, including a large contingent of expats from his native Jamaica, with a scintillating WR.