The World Track and Field Championships — either indoor and outdoor — have been going for 30 years. The U.S. has hosted once, but it would like to again in three years.
USA Track and Field made it official Monday, submitting a bid for Portland, Ore., to host the 2016 World Indoor Championships. The Telegraph in Great Britain first reported the bid last month.
Portland is about a two-hour drive north from Eugene, which has hosted the last two U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials and will host the 2014 World Junior Championships and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Eugene’s TrackTown USA, Inc., would serve as the local organizing committee.
“As a member of the IAAF family, USATF considers it an honor as well as a duty to try to bring a world championship event back to U.S. soil,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said, according to a press release. “Having hosted two very successful Olympic Trials in 2008 and 2012, TrackTown USA has shown itself to be the premier host of world-class track events in this country. We look forward to presenting the bid and continuing to elevate the off-track profile of the United States in the international sports world.”
The Telegraph reported that Birmingham, England, was the lone city to submit a bid to host the event by a Sept. 15 deadline but that the IAAF, track and field’s governing body, extended the deadline for the Portland bid.
Both cities will present bids Nov. 15 in Monaco before a vote is taken.
The Telegraph reported that Portland planned to hold the event at the Portland Trail Blazers’ Moda Center, but USATF announced it would be held at the Oregon Convention Center. The convention center is one million square feet, which is more than the Moda Center.
The U.S. hosted the World Indoor Championships once, in Indianapolis in 1987. The event has been once every two years since its debut in 1985. Spain has hosted three times and France and Hungary twice each.
The U.S. has never hosted the World Outdoor Championships, which have been held 14 times since 1983.
If Portland hosts the 2016 World Indoor Championships, it could lead to a greater goal — Eugene hosting the World Outdoor Championships.
“It’s a tall order, the World Championships,” TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna said, according to the Eugene Register-Guard. “This is just another step in bringing us closer to actually demonstrating to the rest of the world that we are very serious and passionate about the sport of track and field.”