In a special announcement at the Oregon State Capitol building Thursday, USATF CEO Max Siegel declared that the greatest track meet on U.S. soil will return to TrackTown USA when the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field are contested July 1-10, 2016 at Historic Hayward Field.
On behalf of USA Track & Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee, Siegel made the announcement to an audience including Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, University of Oregon President Mike Gottfredson, Oregon State Senate President Peter Courtney, Oregon House of Representatives Speaker Tina Kotek, and TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna. Also in attendance were supporters from Oregon Track Club, City of Eugene, City of Springfield, Lane County, and Travel Lane County.
“Eugene set the bar high for what it means to host an Olympic Trials in 2008, and in 2012 they exceeded anyone’s expectations with a truly spectacular, world-class event,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “Local and state organizers cater not only to our athletes, but to track fans as well, and they have redefined the fan experience. As our sport continues to grow nationally, we are pleased to return to TrackTown in 2016.”
The largest national championship track meet in the world, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials hosts more than 1,000 athletes competing for a chance to advance to the Olympic Games. The awarding of the 2016 Olympic Trials marks the third consecutive Trials hosted in Eugene and the sixth overall for the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
“The USOC is pleased that the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track and Field will be returning to Hayward Field and the University of Oregon in 2016,” said Scott Blackmun, chief executive officer, USOC. “Outstanding performances in Eugene during the 2008 and 2012 Trials set the stage for incredible success for Team USA in both Beijing and London. We thank USATF for their commitment to making the trials a great event, and thank the people of Eugene for their support of America’s athletes.”
“The State of Oregon embraces the sport of track and field and welcomes the opportunity to once again host those athletes competing to represent Team USA in 2016,” said Gov. John Kitzhaber. “The events bring important economic activity to the state and opportunities for Oregonians to cheer on the nation’s finest athletes, including so many who call this ‘home’.”
In 2012, the Olympic Trials and its surrounding festival attracted more than 173,000 paid fans over eight days of competition that were highlighted by Ashton Eaton’s world record in the decathlon. The TrackTown12 fan festival—highlighted by a huge interactive zone from Nike—added local entertainment and food, engagement with star athletes, and youth track and field activities to the fan experience. The event also reached well beyond Hayward Field in 2012, by staging the men’s and women’s Hammer throw in front of approximately 5,000 fans on the Nike campus in Beaverton, and inviting high school teams from throughout the state to compete in the TrackTown Relay.
“We are honored and pleased that TrackTown USA will once again welcome the world’s No. 1 team as the athletes select themselves for a spot on Team USA in Rio,” said Lananna. “We are excited to partner once again with all stakeholders to make this event a huge success.”
Eugene previously hosted the 1972, 1976, 1980, 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, and in 2014 will host the 15th IAAF World Junior Championships. Hayward Field has played host to 10 NCAA Outdoor Championships and annually hosts standing-room-only crowds for the Nike Prefontaine Classic.
— News Release from the University of Oregon, April 11, 2013