In March 1972, Richmond hosted the first ever indoor Russian-American track meet. There had been 10 previous meets between the two countries in the past, but all were outdoors.
Sponsored by Richmond Newspapers and the Richmond Coliseum, the meet consisted of 23 events with more than 100 athletes participating. The competition was also held just five months before the Olympics.
Richmonders had mixed emotions about the meet, some even protested outside the Coliseum during the opening ceremonies.
Relays and races were all televised by CBS which reportedly paid $20,000 for the rights to broadcast. Dick Hollander, the director of the meet explained how organizing everything was “rather expensive” and in the “neighborhood of $70,000.” It cost almost $30,000 just to bring the Russian athletes to Richmond and then send them back after.
In the end, the U.S. won, 131-112.