MONTE CARLO, Monaco – Portland, Oregon, will host the 2016 World Indoor Track & Field Championships after the IAAF Council on Friday voted to bring the meet back to the U.S. for the first time since 1987.
USATF President Stephanie Hightower, USATF CEO Max Siegel, and TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna presented the joint Portland bid to the IAAF Council on Friday morning in Monaco. Birmingham, England, also bid for the event.
The 2016 World Indoor Championships will mark the first time a senior World Athletics Series (WAS) event has been held in the United States since the World Cross Country Championships in 1992. Eugene will host the 2014 World Junior Championships.
“We thank the IAAF Council and President Diack for entrusting us with the 2016 World Indoor Championships,” Siegel said. “We are honored and proud to be given the opportunity to again host the world’s national track & field teams on U.S. soil. USATF and TrackTown have the vision and execution that will make the meet a truly world-class experience.”
With Portland winning the 2016 bid, the IAAF awarded Birmingham the 2018 World Indoor Championships. USATF held its 2012 Olympic training camp in Birmingham and enjoys a positive relationship with the city.
“This is a win, win situation for athletics,” Hightower said. “It allows us to showcase the sport in the States and leaves the UK with a consistent series of high profile athletics events in the coming years. This decision adds momentum and an exciting frame work to international athletics allowing us to create a logical narrative which shows the world where we are going as a sport.”
The U.S. bid was based on contributing to the growth of sport globally and domestically into new markets for fans, athlete and the general public.
“We plan to leave a lasting legacy of new facilities, a renewed passion, and a new model to present indoor track and field,” Lananna said. “We will work tirelessly to create the most awe-inspiring event ever held in the U.S. for the athletes, fans, officials, media, partners and the entire IAAF family. We want to demonstrate our commitment with action.”
The three-day meet will be held in March, 2016, at Portland’s Oregon Convention Center (OCC). As configured for World Indoors, the facility will easily accommodate more than 8,000 spectators. A new 200-meter IAAF-certified track will be built and then repurposed as a legacy of the event.
As a local organizing committee, TrackTown USA has a track record of robust fan-engagement spaces. The OCC configuration for the meet includes creating a fan festival inside the facility and will put thousands of passionate and knowledgeable fans on top of the action.
TrackTown USA has hosted the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Trials, which reach record attendance levels. The group also serves as local organizing committee for the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, to be contested this July in Eugene, Ore., and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.