The NCAA has awarded TrackTown USA its Outdoor Track and Field Championships from 2015 to 2021, the Association announced on Wednesday. Coupled with the fact that Eugene had previously been selected to host the national meet in 2014, the University of Oregon will be the destination for the Division I championships into the next decade.
“We are excited that Hayward Field will remain the dream destination for every Division I athlete and we plan to turn the NCAA Championships into the hottest ticket in the sport,” said University of Oregon Senior Associate Athletic Director and President of TrackTown USA Vin Lananna. “It took a remarkable partnership of entities from not only from the Eugene-Springfield community, but the entire State of Oregon to make this commitment to the sport of track and field.”
The successful bid was based on three principles: an unprecedented partnership between Oregon and the local track and field community that will elevate the Championships into one of the NCAA’s premier events; a first-class student-athlete experience that allows competitors to excel at the top of their sport; and engaging the community to celebrate the history of the sport and emphasize the fan experience.
“The University of Oregon has a rich tradition with the sport of track and field so we are extremely thrilled to have a long-term agreement to host the NCAA Championships at Historic Hayward Field,” said University of Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens. “Being the birthplace of running in the United States, TrackTown USA offers the most unique experiences for both student-athletes and fans alike. The University of Oregon is known for hosting first class championship events and this is an exciting opportunity to showcase our hospitality for years to come.”
The NCAA meets give the Eugene-Springfield community an unprecedented number of high caliber events in the coming decade with the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships coming to Eugene next summer, the USA Championships on the slate for 2015 and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials returning to TrackTown for the third consecutive time.
“Student-athletes, coaches and fans of collegiate sport thrive when venues deliver an outstanding championship atmosphere,” said Sam Seemes, CEO of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. “As hosts, Oregon has consistently proven to have the commitment and execution necessary to bring our sport to life, providing experiences that are currently one-of-a-kind. Enhancing our sports’ championships are a top priority as it builds a foundation that adds value to all competitions and serves a direct line in contributing to an exciting future for all stakeholders.”
The announcement means that Eugene will be the home of more NCAA meets than any other city in the United States. TrackTown has hosted the national championships 11 times: 1962, 1964, 1972, 1978, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2010 and 2013.
Only Chicago, with 13 championships between 1921 and 1936, has currently hosted more NCAA meets.