SALEM, Ore. — It’s official. Eugene will host the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team trials again in 2016.
KEZI 9 News first confirmed this news Wednesday, but the official announcement was made Thursday at the state capitol.
Athletes say they knew about a week ago, but couldn’t say anything until now, when the official announcement was made that the Track and Field trials are coming back to Eugene in 2016.
Rumors of the track and field trials returning scattered social media for days, until finally track and field, university and state leaders gathered at the capitol Thursday to settle the speculation that the trials are indeed coming back to track town for a third consecutive time.
“We are very pleased to announce that the U.S. Track and Field Team Trials will return to Eugene in 2016,” said Max Siegel, USATF CEO.
Organizers say the three-peat is due to the unbeatable atmosphere Eugene offers year after year.
“There’s something about the culture of the community that have knowledge of the sport, that really embrace the competition, and a telling sign for me is to sit in the stands on a day when it’s pouring rain and there are 20,000 people out there enjoying the competition,” Siegel said.
“I haven’t found any other crowd anywhere in the world to be as open and warm as a Hayward Field crowd is. And I love doing well and performing well there because the people there care and it matters,” said Track and Field Olympian Andrew Wheating.
Lananna says they really haven’t done a whole lot of planning considering they just found out about the bid, but one thing they’re sure they’re going to focus on for the 2016 trials is increasing the fan experience at Hayward Field.