Oregon21 CEO Niels de Vos with World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon (© LOC)
World Athletics officials have praised the planning and preparations for the World Athletics Championships Oregon21, after a busy week of meetings and venue visits in both Portland and Eugene, Oregon this week.
During the visit, delegates toured the under-construction Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, visited local Eugene hotels, and attended numerous working meetings covering accommodation, broadcast requirements, press operations, event presentation and operations, security and ticketing.
The visiting delegation, comprised of both technical and broadcast experts, had a full agenda, beginning with two days in Portland as they considered course options for the championship marathons and race walks that they will now take to the next World Athletics Council meeting in Nanjing, China, for approval in March. They also met with Travel Oregon, a key stakeholder and driving force behind state-wide involvement in the event, and its wider promotion.
The World Athletics Championships Oregon21 will take place in both Eugene and Portland from 6-15 August 2021, with specific dates for the Portland events still to be determined. It is the first time the outdoor World Championships will be held on USA soil. The World Athletics Indoor Championships took place in Portland in 2016.
“This has been a packed few days but is important to ensure we are all on the same page in terms of expectations,” said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon. “The Local Organising Committee has a unique approach to resource planning, using the skills and expertise of Oregonians and local partners working alongside experienced international staff with major global event production experts.”
“This is the first time ever that our world championships will be held in a stadium purpose-built specifically for athletics, rather than a multi-purpose sports stadium, which has its own challenges in terms of space but will provide a strong legacy for the sport here in the USA. Our tour of the Hayward Field stadium this week was exciting and although still under construction we can all imagine a world class event in 2021. Athletics fans the world over really have something to look forward to.”
Oregon21 CEO Niels de Vos added: “This has been an excellent visit in which we were able to share detailed plans with our counterparts from World Athletics. We are delighted to have secured World Athletics’ endorsement for those plans and will now double down on ensuring that we deliver against them.”
In addition to all the meetings, one presentation that met with great interest was the unveiling of the logo for the World Athletics Championships Oregon21, which takes great advantage of the in-fill opportunity offered by the new World Athletics branding scheme. The Oregon21 logo features artwork from Portland-based artist Blaine Fontana, and depicts a wide range of Oregon iconography. Fontana’s original artwork will become a mural on the side of a building at a location still to be determined in Eugene.
All in all, the week was deemed a great success, with everyone now looking forward to the next site visit, scheduled for June to coincide with the USA Olympic Trials.