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This Day in Track & Field-February 11
by Walt Murphy’s News and Results Service (email@example.com), used with permission
2012–The Millrose Games moves to the Armory.
Here is what I wrote in Eastern Track at the time about the controversial decision to move the Millrose Games, considered the crown jewel of the U.S. indoor season for decades, from the showcase of Madison Square Garden uptown to the Armory.
The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Queen
by Walt Murphy —
To paraphrase the old Royal Family line, “Millrose is dead, long live Millrose.”
When the late Dr. Norb Sander, the President of the Armory Foundation, first suggested a few years ago that the Millrose Games should move uptown from Madison Square Garden to the Armory in Washington Heights, I was one of many who tried to convince him it was a bad idea.
Since the Foundation owned the rights to the Millrose name, they were certainly entitled to do whatever they wanted with the meet, but I felt it would be another blow to the image of the sport.
As someone who has been to more than 50 Millrose Games and who enjoyed the glory days when 18,000+ fans packed the Garden, I felt that the meet would lose prestige if it moved to the Armory, even if attendance at MSG had been lean in recent years. (And no one loves the Armory more than I do.)
But as Ray Flynn, the veteran of six Wanamaker Miles at Millrose and now the meet director, pointed out, “Those days are gone. It’s time to move on.”
I was still skeptical as recently as early January, but I began to come around as the fields for the meet started coming together. And the buzz at early-season meets at the Armory continued to grow as the meet drew nearer. I finally jumped on the bandwagon, convinced that this was indeed the right move.
But would the reality match the expectations? The answer is a resounding yes!
While there was a handful of old-timers who remained unconvinced, the vast majority of the people who were in attendance, including Millrose legends Eamonn Coghlan and long-time meet director Howard Schmertz, had nothing but rave reviews for the…