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Watch parties at 5th Street Market Alley will preview 2023 Prefontaine Classic

 A downtown scene, centered on a public open-air walkway between rows of shops.
Karen Richards
The first Diamond League watch party is Friday, during the lunch hour.

Eugene’s annual Prefontaine Classic track and field meet is happening in September this year, rather than its usual time earlier in the summer.

TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly said that’s because the event is serving as the 2023 championship meet.

“It’s effectively the Super Bowl for professional track and field," he said. "Athletes earn points along the summer, competing in different Diamond League events throughout the world.”

To get ready for the crowning event at Hayward Field, Reilly said there will be four Diamond League watch parties held outside at the Fifth Street Public Market Alley.

The first one takes place Friday and will feature a live broadcast from Lausanne, Switzerland, starting at 11 a.m. There will be three more watch parties: one each in in July, August and September.

Fans of high-profile track and field events in Eugene won't have to wait until September, however.

Hayward Field will host the USATF championships from July 6 to 9. The event will serve as a way to assemble the national team that will head to Budapest, Hungary in August for the World Athletics Championship.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.