Source: Chris Hansen, The Register-Guard

USA Track & Field announced on Monday it will make an official bid to bring the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships to Portland.

With Eugene’s TrackTown USA Inc., serving as the local organizing committee, the bid will be presented to the IAAF in Monaco on Nov. 15.

“We’re confident that the state of Oregon is a great place for the sport of track and field,” TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna said.

“I think the heart and soul of the sport is located in Eugene and Hayward Field, and track and field has been prominent in our community for a long, long time.

We have always felt the sport is bigger than just having it in one place and we think this is a step forward for the state of Oregon.”

TrackTown USA was the guiding force behind the highly successful U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field in 2008 and 2012. It also will stage the 2014 World Junior Championships meet at Hayward Field in July, and the 2016 Olympic Trials.

The World Indoor Championships would be held at the Oregon Convention Center in March of 2016.

The last time the World Indoors were held in the United States was in 1987 in Indianapolis.

“USATF considers it an honor as well as a duty to try to bring a world championship event back to U.S. soil,” CEO Max Siegel said in a statement. “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.”

Lananna said the Oregon Convention Center presents the perfect “blank canvas” for the staging of a meet the size and magnitude of the World Indoor Championships, with plenty of space for a track, warm-up area, hospitality and seating for 8,000 or more.

“This is an opportunity for us to create our own venue in a way to really present the sport,” he said.

Lananna also said a successful bid — along with having the World Junior meet here — could serve as one more step toward the longstanding goal of eventually bringing the World Outdoor Championships to Hayward Field.

“It’s a tall order, the world championships,” Lananna said.

“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.”

Lananna anticipates there could be as many as three other cities submitting bids for the World Indoor meet.

The city of Birmingham in England is reported to be one of those cities. Birmingham hosted the 2003 World Indoor meet and recently gave its National Indoor Arena a $35 million upgrade.

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