Eugene To Host '16 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials At Hayward Field
Eugene, Ore., will host the ’16 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field, marking the “sixth time that the prestigious event will be held” in the city, according to Curtis Anderson of the Eugene REGISTER-GUARD. The Trials are scheduled for July 1-10. The city most recently hosted the ’08 and ’12 Trials. USA Track & Field CEO Max Siegel acknowledged that other cities were “interested in hosting the Trials, in particular Des Moines, Iowa, the site of the annual Drake Relays and this year’s USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.” But there was “a known comfort level with Eugene.” Siegel said, “The history we had with TrackTown, both operationally and commercially, was one of the things that tipped it.” TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna said that the ‘15 USA Outdoor National Track & Field Championships “also are coming to Hayward Field.” That is “on the heels of the 2013 and ’14 NCAA championships and 2014 World junior championships.” While Lananna said that it is “too early to pinpoint an operating budget or whether Hayward Field will need improvements for 2016, he said an improving economy should provide a big boost in engaging partnerships and sponsorships throughout the planning process” (Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, 4/12). Anderson notes U.S. Olympic runner Andrew Wheating would “love to see the same kind of support in bigger cities such as New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, but with competition from professional franchises, track and field is a tough sell to those who don’t understand the sport.” Wheating said, “In Eugene, we have a history with track and field. The whole Prefontaine era. He set this really strong foundation and it’s hard to break that down. What we need to do is break out of that and go to different places and help establish a strong foundation there” (Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, 4/12).