TrackTown USA places bid on '19 IAAF World Championships
EUGENE, Ore. -- The most prestigious stand-alone event in track and field, the World Outdoor Track Championships, could be held in Eugene in 2019, if the IAAF deems a local bid from Tracktown U.S.A. the winner this November.
In the words of Tracktown U.S.A.'s President Vin Lananna, the event is nothing short of the crown jewel of track and field.
He said Eugene has a shot at landing the biggest of track events, which has never been held on American soil.
Tracktown U.S.A and U.S.A. Track and Field submitted a bid to host the World Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the historic Hayward Field.
"In 2019, for the year that we have submitted (our bid) - it will be the largest sporting event in the world," said Lananna.
The nine day Championships are held every 2 years, drawing in nearly 2,000 competing athletes.
Lananna said they've put in a strong bid, and Eugene's love of track will help vault the bid to the top of the International Association of Athletics Federations' list.
"The basis for our bid will be of the love that this community has for the sport of track and field, and the place it holds in the hearts of the people," said Lananna.
Kari Westlund of Travel Lane County feels Tracktown's success with the World Junior Championships this summer will hold sway with IAAF judges.
"It's very important to them that it be done very well and that the host community is really able to deliver a world class event," said Westlund.
Another requirement of the bid is that the host city must have enough seating for 30,000 spectators at the local track venue, about 20,000 more seats than Hayward Field's current capacity.
Lananna feels it's not insurmountable, and they've been working on an upgrade plan for the field for the last three years.
"We will focus our attention on the authenticity of track and field, and what we care about in this community," said Lananna.
Eugene joins a handful of other finalists in the bidding process, including the site of the 1992 Summer Olympics - Barcelona, Spain and Doha, Qatar. IAAF will get the bids in early November.