Eugene, Oregon has been awarded the 2021 World Track and Field Championships after many weeks of quiet negotiations.
Eugene earned a close second in last fall’s bid for the 2019 World Championships. In February, organizers appealed to IAAF president Lamine Diack, and were encouraged to campaign for the 2021 event. Track Town USA President Vin Lananna says he wasn’t feeling confident until this week. He spoke from Beijing after the council meeting:
Lananna: “We arrived in China on Monday, and met with the president again. By that time he was fully engaged. The council accepted the strategic plan, and quite honestly they deserve a lot of credit for stepping up and making a bold decision to accept this bid outside of process.”
Some European track and field officials aren’t pleased at the choice. Gothenburg Sweden had hoped to submit a formal bid. But USA Track and Field, the U.S. Olympic Committee, NBC and others, are thrilled. Max Siegel is CEO of USA Track and Field:
Siegel: “We believe what we have is an unprecedented opportunity to use the platform of the World Outdoor Championships to take the sport to another level of popularity, visibility, and frankly, corporate engagement.”
Lananna confirmed Nike has been a partner in the bidding process but Adidas will be the apparel and shoe sponsor. Lananna says the expansion of Hayward Field to accommodate 30,o00 to 32,000 people will begin after the 2016 Olympic trials.