PORTLAND, Oregon—Portland mayor Charlie Hales, along with a group of speakers, including TrackTown USA president Vin Lananna and USA Track & Field Public Affairs Officer Jill Geer, spoke to members of the media Monday at a press gathering signifying one year out to the start of the 2016 IAAF world indoor track & field championships that will be contested at the Oregon Convention Center on March 18-20th.
The world championships will be held in the United States for only the second time in history, with Indianapolis hosting the inaugural indoor world championships in 1987.
The first official renderings of the banked track facility (above/rendering courtesy Portland 2016/TrackTown USA) and the 7000 seat arena that will be built inside the Convention Center were also revealed at the event.
Organizers also announced that a men’s and women’s pole vault festival will be held the day before at the Moda Center, home of the Portland Trail Blazers. A full lineup of high school pole vault events will precede the World Indoor Championship competition, which could potentially give this event the feel of the annual Pole Vault Summit held every January in Reno, Nevada.
Attending the event were several athletes and coaches from the Nike Oregon Project, the Bowerman Track Club, and Oregon TC Elite, including Galen Rupp, Mary Cain, Alberto Salazar, Jerry Schumacher, Ryan Hill, German Fernandez, Ben Blankenship, and Nike sprinter Ryan Bailey.
In conjunction with the event, Geer also announced that the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held at the Oregon Convention Center on March 11-12. That also coincides with the NCAA indoor track & field championships in Birmingham, Alabama the same weekend, which could force some collegians to make a choice between competing for their school or trying to make a national team.
“TrackTown USA and the city of Portland are looking forward to an amazing two weeks of indoor track and field,” TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna said. “Portland is a beautiful and vibrant city, and Oregon is a state that loves sport, and our citizens will provide a warm and welcoming environment for both meets.”
NOTE: USA Track & Field and TrackTown USA contributed to this report.