EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene is hosting their second Olympic Track & Field Trials in a row as a debate arises over whether TrackTown should host the 2016 trials - and beyond.
“This is running central,” said Tualatin resident Diana Gowen outside Hayward Field on Thursday.
University of Oregon Track & Field coach Vin Lananna may not have the most objective opinion but said he thinks Eugene is the best city to host the trials in 2016.
"21,000 people sitting in ponchos and not missing one step of the way, and choosing not to forego and sit around and watch TV; but to come here and become part of the action at Hayward Field,” Lananna said at Hayward Field on Monday.
And Lananna isn’t the only person with a stake in keeping the trials here in Eugene.
Travel Lane County spokeswoman Lisa Lawton said having TrackTown12 in Lane County has been great for the local economy.
"The influx of thousands of visitors coming into the area does create huge economic impacts for the local community—hotels, transportation companies and retail establishments,” said Lawton at the downtown Travel Lane County office on Thursday.
While people and businesses invested in the area have undeniable benefits to future trials held at Hayward Field, KVAL News asked people from out of the area what they thought.
“If it were anywhere else, we probably wouldn’t have gone this far,” said Larry Smart, who traveled from Tampa, Fla., for the trials, “But we wanted to come here.”
Outside Hayward Smart added, “It’s the capital, right, of track?”
“It’s the running capital,” said Merrill Hausenfluck, also from Tampa, “I say keep it here.”
Lananna and the city of Eugene haven’t yet submitted an official bid to USA Track & Field to host the 2016 Trials. But they have made a request for proposal, which is the first step.