The World Athletics Championships are fast approaching, and for 10 days in July, Eugene will be the epicenter of the track and field universe.
Running from July 15-24, Oregon22 was supposed to happen in 2021 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, excitement is still high for one of the biggest sporting events in the world to be held in the United States for the first time. Eugene and the state will benefit greatly from the exposure. With more than 100,000 tickets already sold, tens of thousands of visitors will be flocking here from all over. There is sure to be a great deal of opportunities made available for everyone.
Eugene and its downtown core will benefit not just from increased local traffic but also from the massive number of tourists expected this summer. The Eugene Airport has added new airlines, Avelo and Southwest; the Downtown Riverfront Park and permanent Lane County Farmers Market location are both on track to be completed, both of which will be nodes of activity during Oregon22.
With this expectation of increased activity, there are a couple of ways for locals to ensure that they don’t miss out on any of the action. Nicole Desch of Onward Eugene has been working with Oregon22 and the Riverfront Festival to help drive foot traffic outward to other local hotbeds of the community, specifically Main Street Springfield, the Whitaker, the 5th Street Market district, and of course, the heart and economic center of our community, Downtown Eugene.
With every map and directory, Desch said she wants to “highlight a handful of neighborhoods that have a high concentration of restaurant, retail or entertainment venues that are close enough to Hayward that you could easily walk, bike or scooter, or take public transit.”
For businesses, Desch, as well as Travel Lane County Vice President of Stakeholder Relations Andy Vobora, have suggestions to help increase the excitement during Oregon22. TLC has created a number of marketing materials for the championships that businesses can purchase to help affiliate themselves with the meet. Among the items made available are T-Shirts, table tents, hats, window clings and more. All of these items are made locally by McKenzie SewOn, which will continue to fuel the local economic engine. Orders are, however, limited to 12-day windows with the first cycle being March 1.
To help business owners prepare and cover their bases, Onward Eugene is planning a webinar.
“We are planning to have the webinar in May or June, so everything is fresh in people's minds before Oregon22,” Desch said. “All of the info will be on our website, onwardeugene.org, once we have a date set.”
TLC will release a booklet in the coming months for Oregon22 that should be sought out by citizens and visitors alike. This booklet will feature all major events and times occurring throughout the county — for those wanting to go beyond the city limits. Until this holy grail of activities is released, visiting TLC’s website offers a slew of content to review and prepare for. Tours, history, transportation deals, running trails, day trip ideas, and so much more.
Whether you take up on a grand adventure, relax at the new Riverfront Park, wait in line for some delicious Prince Puckler’s Ice Cream, or visit one of the many food trucks spread throughout the Eugene/Springfield area, you’re guaranteed to be struck by the energy radiating from our city this summer.