With numerous venerated sports venues, athletic heroes, internationally acclaimed sporting events and sports business genius; the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region continues to capture both the national and international spotlight.
For starters, the cities of Eugene - Springfield are built around an environmentally-friendly network of cycling paths and running trails. Extensive natural preserves, riverside parks and award-winning public transit cater to an actively outdoor community. Within a two hour radius of Eugene's city center, there is a unique diversity of outdoor pursuits from surfing, fishing and white-water rafting to mountain biking and skiing.
LEGENDS MADE HERE
In town, the most famous historic sports site is the University of Oregon's Hayward Field, built in 1919. Host to the first World Athletics Championships on US soil, seven US Olympic Team Trials - Track and Field, numerous NCAA D1 Championships, and home to track legend Steve Prefontaine (1951-1975); Hayward Field invokes a reverent response from today's track fans.
It was also at this very site that middle-distance runner Phil Knight engineered waffle-iron rubber soled running shoes along with his UO Track Coach and former Olympian Bill Bowerman, sparking what would later grow into the Nike shoe empire.
Other famous athletes to have trained here under Coach Bowerman include Alberto Salazar, Mary Decker Slaney, Lance Deal and Bill McChesney. Nick Symmonds and Galen Rupp are more recent athletes on the scene.
The public can still run on this famous track at the annual All-Comers' Track and Field Meet and all can follow in the famous runners' footsteps along the Steve Prefontaine Memorial Jogging Trail in Alton Baker Park. The enthusiasm for track continues with the Eugene Marathon, the Butte to Butte, the Prefontaine Classic, and two area triathlons. Numerous local running organizations give daily vigor to Eugene's nick name TrackTown USA.
While Eugene may be ranked among the best places for running, it's also a great place to be a fan. Die-hard Duck fans cheer on the UO football team at Autzen Stadium, known to be one of the loudest arenas in the country.
Several strong seasons followed by the 2012 Rose Bowl victory have rallied national attention, but one resolute fan has generously supported the Ducks for decades-Nike owner Phil Knight. With his, and other donors' assistance, the UO athletic department now showcases an array of state-of-the-art athletic facilities from the Matthew Knight Arena to the John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes.
And there's more sports business brilliance! The famous McKenzie Drift Boat was designed by local residents for greater endurance and easier maneuvering in the McKenzie River rapids. The McKenzie Drift Boat established a national design standard for river dories. And there's the Burley bicycle trailer, invented by a local cyclist committed to his car-free lifestyle while safely transporting his young daughter. Today bike trailers provide a cycling alternative for parents everywhere.
Original sports have also found a receptive groove here. Old growth tree-climbers tackle 200 foot ascents into virtually unexplored tree canopies. Out at the coast, sandboarders take to slopes of sand instead of snow using boards especially modified for the dunes gritty, shifting surface.
Whether it's Casey Martin challenging the PGA's ADA golfing accommodations or LaMichael James breaking football records, athletes and fans participating in Eugene's sports scene become part of a deep, diverse sports heritage.
- 2023 World Athletics Diamond League Final
- 2023 USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships
- 2023 USA BMX Lumberjack Nationals
- 2023 PDGA US Masters Championships
- 2024 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships
- 2025 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships
- 2026 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships
- 2027 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships
- 2022 World Athletics Championships Oregon22
- 2020 US Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field
- 2019 USA BMX Gold Cup Regional Championship - Northwest
- 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2018 United States Golf Association (USGA) Senior Amateur Championship
- 2018 USA Gymnastics’ Men’s Region 2 Championships
- 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2017 NW Pacific Figure Skating Regional Championship
- 2017 USA BMX Gold Cup Regional Championship - Northwest
- 2016 US Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field
- 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships
- 2016 National Thistle Championship
- 2016 USA BMX Gold Cup Regional Championship - Northwest
- 2015 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships
- 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships
- 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2014 NCAA Division I Regional Men's Golf Championships
- 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2013 Northwest Pacific Regional Figure Skating Championships
- 2012 US Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field
- 2011 First Championship Pac-12 College Football Game at Autzen Stadium
- 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2010 FIMBA Pan-American Masters Basketball Championship
- 2008 US Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field
- 2008 USGA Women's Amateur Golf Championships
- 2004 Western International Walking Horse Show
- 2004 USA Junior Olympic Championships
- 2003 USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2002 USGA US Women's Mid-Amateur
- 2001 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 2000 USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 1999 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 1994 USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 1993 USA/Mobil Outdoor Track and Field Championships
- 1993 USGA US Mid-Amateur
- Prefontaine Classic – World Athletics Diamond League Track & Field Meet
- Oregon Track Club Masters Hayward Classic
- OSAA State High School Softball Championships
- OSAA State High School Track & Field Championships
- Eugene Marathon
- Oregon Gran Fondo
- Matt Hartner Memorial (MHM) Volleyball Classic
- Covered Bridge Regatta
Readers' Choice Awards 2019; SportsEvents Magazine
Wine Region of the Year; Ranked #1; Wine Enthusiast
The 51 Best American College Towns for Pizza Lovers - Eugene; Ranked #4; Buzzfeed
Top 10 Most Hospitable U.S. Cities - Eugene; Ranked #3; Successful Meetings
Campus Sustainability Leaders - University of Oregon; The College Sustainability Report Card
The Best College Towns in America - University of Oregon; Ranked #18; College Rank
The 15 Best U.S. Cities for Vegetarians - Eugene; Ranked #7; Conde Nast Traveler
The 10 Most Progressive Towns in the US - Eugene; Matador Network
The Next Top 10 Cities For Tech Jobs - Eugene; Ranked #10; Fast Company
Top Ridespots: Oakridge; ridespots.com
10 Secret Beach Towns for Avoiding Crowds; Trips to Discover
Best Hikes on the Oregon Coast; outdoorproject.com
The 30 Most Beautiful Towns in America - Florence; Ranked #1; Expedia