COLUMBIA — Michael Phelps is coming to town.
The fourth annual Missouri Grand Prix swimming competition expects to draw a large crowd this weekend to the Mizzou Aquatics Center in large part because the world-renowned athlete will compete. Other U.S. National Team swimmers, including Ryan Lochte, Keri Hehn and Amanda Weir, are also entered in the meet.
Last year’s Missouri Grand Prix attracted a crowd of 1,000 spectators, significantly lower than the 2,500 who flocked to see Phelps in 2008.
Phelps is expected to swim Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Prelims begin at 9 a.m. daily and finals are at 5:30 p.m. Jim Rusnak, USA Swimming publications coordinator, said spectators wanting to see Phelps swim should come later in the day.
“The prelims have hundreds of athletes competing, but the finals will offer a better chance to see Phelps,” he said.
Here’s what you need to know to plan your weekend.
Prelims — Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Timed Finals — Monday
7 a.m. — Warm ups
9 a.m. — Session begins
Finals — Friday, Saturday and Sunday
4 p.m. — Warm ups
5:30 p.m. — Session begins
Prelims and Monday admission — $10 per session
Finals admission — $15 per session
All-session pass — $60
Spectators can come one hour before the beginning of the event. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Virginia Avenue Garage is the parking structure used for this weekend, located across the street from the MU Student Recreational Complex.