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Trials on Track in TrackTown

Published: May 25, 2021

The buzz of excitement and anticipation is already in the air as the Eugene community, event organizers TrackTown USA and the University of Oregon begin final preparations for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track and Field on June 18 - 27, 2021. This will be the first Olympic Trials to grace the new, state-of-the-art Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

With eight days of competition over a 10-day span, the event will showcase more than 1,000 Olympic-hopeful athletes competing for the right to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this summer.

Trials History in Eugene

This is not the first time the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track and Field has been hosted in Eugene. The event has become one of the crown jewels of the community's elite event hosting achievements in the sport. Including the upcoming Trials, the event will have been hosted here seven times, with this being the fourth consecutive. Hayward Field has earned its significant reputation by not only hosting the Olympic Trials, but by hosting the National Masters Championships, decades of Prefontaine Classics, the IAAF World Junior Championships, and over sixteen NCAA Men's and Women's D1 Outdoor Track & Field Championships, as well as other world-class events. 

In a regular non-pandemic year, the local economic impact of the Olympic Trials is estimated to be about $37 million dollars. It is undetermined what the economic impact will be for this year with reduced numbers of spectators, but the hope is that it will still have a significant impact on the recovery of the local economy.
 

U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field by TrackTown USA
Fan Festival Courtesy TrackTown USA

Trials and Tribulations

After an unprecedented year in 2020 and amid uncertainty of COVID-related state and local restrictions, athletes and track fans can rejoice that the rescheduled Olympic Trials will still be hosted at Hayward Field. 

Since the event was rescheduled, the organizers have been hard at work with state and local officials to create an event plan that delivers an above-and-beyond safe event experience for all participating. An exciting announcement was made on May 29, 2021 by TrackTown USA, the local organizing committee (LOC), regarding fans in the stands at the event. Due to changes made to Oregon health regulations, fans will now be able to cheer from the stands of the newly reimagined Hayward Field, as the best athletes in the country pursue their Olympic dreams.

The policy change comes as new guidance on outdoor gatherings for individuals who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 was released. The stadium will be set-up with both vaccinated and non-vaccinated sections, with the vaccinated sections making up most of the ticket inventory. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be needed in order for fans to sit in vaccinated sections. The new ticketing plan for the event prioritizes athlete families and existing ticket customers, once their requests are fulfilled additional tickets may be available to the general public.* For the latest updates and news regarding ticketing and event access, visit TrackTown20.com.

U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field by TrackTown USAHigh Jump Courtesy TrackTown USA

Theater for Track

The newly renovated Hayward Field has been described as a theater for track and it is the premiere location to host these eight intense days of competition. Previously the site of many world records and remarkable athletic achievements, we are excited to see what the athlete’s have in store for us as they compete for a spot on the coveted U.S. Olympic Team.

Hayward Field Aerial View
Hayward Field Aerial View Courtesy University of Oregon

Sports Commission Support

The Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission is proud to continue our partnership with the event producers, TrackTown USA, and offer our services and support throughout the planning process.

Our team has worked with the organizers on planning and implementing accommodations solutions for athletes and spectators. Examples of this include assisting with hotel block contracts, monitoring hotel room availability outside of official blocks for spectators, and connecting spectators and athletes with hotels that meet their trip needs. 

In addition to accommodation support, we strive to make everyone’s stay memorable and offer a variety of resources for guests that assist them in planning their trip. For each Olympic Trials and large event that comes into our destination, we create custom resource guides. These guides are a valuable resource for our hotel partners and provide an overview of the event (schedule’s, transportation, etc.), as well as an array of visitor information. This equips our communities' frontline staff workers and enables them to better assist guests in town for the event.

New this year, the resource guides will be online, further reducing the event’s environmental impact and also making the guide more accessible and user friendly for frontline workers, as well as those attending the event.

Starting Race by TrackTown USAStarting Line Courtesy of TrackTown USA

TrackTown’s Bright Future

The Eugene community, also known as TrackTown USA, is showing no signs of slowing down, but rather just warming up with the completion of the new world-class Hayward Field facility. 

The nation’s premier track and field event, the prestigious Diamond League Prefontaine Classic,  will be making it’s triumphant return to Hayward Field on Saturday, August 21, 2021 after its short hiatus due to the venue renovation.

Coming in 2022, the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 will be hosted at Hayward Field. Eugene will welcome the world as this is the first time this event will be taking place in the United States. It’s a great honor for the Eugene community and an opportunity to showcase our track and field reputation and legacy on the world stage.

The NCAA has also recently announced the venue being the site of their 2023-2027 NCAA D1 Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission is looking forward to continuing to partner with and support the national and world-renowned sporting events that will be coming to Eugene in the near future. For events large and small, we are here to offer our expertise and resources to help make these events a success and assist in making everyone’s stay in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region a memorable one.

We hope to see you track-side at one of the exciting upcoming events!

*All plans for the 2020 Olympic Team Trials must be approved by the Oregon Health Authority and therefore are subject to change. The information in this blog was up-to-date as of the publish date. Please visit TrackTown20.com for the latest updates.
 

Author: Jessica Joyce

Meet Jessica! A native Floridian, Jessica relocated to Eugene  where she is enjoying all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. She brings her event planning experience and passion for niche sports to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission team where she is the Director of Event Operations. In her free time, Jessica explores parks and trails with her 3 dogs and is a cupcake baker extraordinaire.