Olympic Track And Field Trials Will Return To Eugene

By Tiffany Eckert

The largest national championship track meet in the world, the U.S. Olympic team trials is coming back to Track Town USA. The much anticipated announcement happened at the State Capitol in Salem Thursday.

USATF CEO Max Siegel made it official.

Siegal: "On behalf of USA Track and Field and the United States Olympic Committee, we are very pleased to announce that the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track and Field will return to Eugene and the state of Eugene in 2016."

Siegel says Eugene set the bar high in 2008 for what it means to host an Olympic trials and exceeded expectations in 2012.

Siegal: "Last year Hayward Field provided the back drop for our Olympic team which went on to dominate the Olympics in a way that was the best performance in a generation," Siegel said. "And we believe that bringing the Trials back to Track Town will prepare the team for an equally impressive performance in Rio."

Siegel stood with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, University of Oregon President Mike Gottfredson and Tracktown USA President Vin Lananna.

The trials host more than 1,000 athletes competing for a spot on team USA and a shot at an Olympic medal. Hosting the world class event for the third consecutive time also means an economic boon for the city of Eugene.

Lisa Lawton is with Travel Lane County. When considering revenue projections for 2016, she looks to the past. Lawton says revenue from the trials was $28 million in 2008.

Lawton: “And, then in 2012, the Trials brought in an estimated $31 million into the local economy," she says. "So it will depend on the number of seats and tickets that will be made available for the 2016 event. Conservatively, we would expect to meet or exceed impacts from last year’s event."

Lawton says holding the Olympic Track and Field trials in Eugene helps attract other high profile events to Track Town USA.

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