For the first time in 30 years, and only the second time in history, the IAAF World Indoor Championships will be contested in the U.S.

You can witness the opening session of this historic occasion with thousands of other fans at no additional charge!

More than 600 of the world’s greatest track and field athletes, representing 154 countries from around the globe, will participate in the four-day competition, March 17-20, at the Oregon Convention Center.

The meet gets off to a roaring start on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. with the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Opening Ceremonies, immediately followed by the thrilling men’s and women’s pole vault competition.

There is no admission charge for the Opening Ceremonies and pole vault competition. Fans who bought an all-session ticket package for World Indoors automatically received their ticket to the festivities, while those who purchased a single-session ticket had the option to receive a ticket to the event. If you have not yet purchased a ticket, use the link at the bottom of the page. Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement regarding a limited number of remaining seats available for this exciting opener to World Indoors!

During the Opening Ceremonies, as you soak in the intimate atmosphere of the temporary 7,000-seat stadium which surrounds the dazzling new emerald green 200-meter banked oval track, you will be treated to a variety of special activities:

  • March of flags. A group of 50 children from Playworks, a non-profit organization serving more than 15,000 students from 31 low-income schools in the greater Portland area, will carry numerous hand flags of each participating federation into the stadium, and distribute them to spectators.
  • Flag parade. Each country taking part in the IAAF World Indoor Championships will be officially announced as their respective flags are carried in by a local college or high school student or Portland 2016 volunteer.
  • National anthem. After the last country is announced – host USA – spectators will be asked to stand for the playing of the national anthem and the raising of the U.S. flag.
  • Welcome messages. TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna, USATF President Stephanie Hightower and IAAF President Sebastian Coe will deliver welcome messages.
  • Opening declaration: Portland Mayor Charlie Hales will declare the opening of the championships, followed by the playing of the IAAF hymn and raising of the IAAF flag.

Immediately after the opening declaration, we will shine a spotlight on the pole vault with special introductions for each of the 12 men’s and women’s finalists. The men’s and women’s pole vaulters will alternate jumps on runways situated on either side of the infield.

Just imagine France’s Renaud Lavillenie – the world record-holder at 20 feet, 2 ½ inches (6.16 meters) – taking on reigning World Champion Shawn Barber of Canada and a host of other vaulters who have personal bests of 19 feet or better.

It promises to be a breathtaking competition!

The women are equally poised to wow the crowd as the three medalists from the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last summer – Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, Brazil’s Fabiana Murer and Greece’s Nikoleta Kyriakopoulou – join a deep and talented field led by a strong U.S. contingent.

No doubt, American Jenn Suhr’s current world record of 16-6 (5.03m) will be in jeopardy!