Portland warehouse likely site of indoor track meets
In March, the U.S. and World indoor track and field championship meets will be staged at Portland's Oregon Convention Center.
But before that, the city's sports fans will be treated to much more of the indoor version of the sport.
Eugene's TrackTown USA, which is staging the U.S. and World events, has rented a city-owned warehouse near the Fremont Bridge. Beginning in January, provided necessary funding is available, the facility will be the site of a series of indoor meets for youth, high school, college and high-performance competitors.
The track that will be used for the U.S. and World meets will be built inside the warehouse.
"We can't clog up the convention center for two months," says Vin Lannana, president of the TrackTown USA organizing committee. "We needed a place to put (the track). Now we've found that place.
"It should be completed by late November. Then we'll surface it and put on the finishing touches. Starting in January, we'll have a month of meets at a variety of levels. We might even have the fire department against the police department. I would expect we'll probably have more than one (meet) a week. We will program it as much as there is demand for."
TrackTown USA, however, needs more sponsorship to make Lananna's plan work.
"The reality is, we still have to get the funding," he says. "We're not going to charge the kids and the high schoolers for use of the facility, but we have to be able to pay people to be there and to clean it and run it. We need basic operational costs. It would be really disappointing if we didn't get the opportunity to show the track off."
The U.S. Indoor meet will be March 11-13. The World Indoors are March 18-20, with the pole vault competition -- free to the public -- slated for March 17 at Moda Center. This is only the second time the Worlds have taken place in the U.S. and the first since 1987.
Lananna says almost 5,000 season tickets have been sold for the Worlds at the convention center, which will have a capacity of 7,000. Season tickets for the three days of competition range from $225 to $385. At some point, Lananna says, single-session tickets also will be available.
Arena seating, Lananna says, "is only 30 rows high. Every seat is close, so you'll see everything no matter where you're sitting."