Track and field’s ruling body awarded the 2021 world championships to Eugene, Oregon, after waiving the usual bidding procedure.
Officials of the group, the IAAF, gave the U.S. city the event after public authorities in Oregon pledged funding and NBC said it would televise the competition live. The IAAF, which disclosed the award on its website, didn’t detail the amount of financing promised.
Eugene lost 15-12 to Doha in a Nov. 18 vote by IAAF executives on the 2019 edition after the Qatari city offered $37 million of backing to the body. IAAF president Lamine Diack said on the website that while the decision “departs from the usual procedure,” his fellow executives recognized “the enormous opportunity” presented by the U.S. market.
The championship will be held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, which markets itself as “Tracktown USA.” It’s the first time the IAAF World Championship -- first held in 1983 in Helsinki -- will take place in America. The nine-day event is held every two years.
The IAAF executives’ decision “enables us to take advantage of a unique opportunity that may never rise again,” Diack said, who was attending the IAAF meeting in Beijing.
The last time the IAAF didn’t have a bidding process was when Osaka, Japan, got the 2007 world championship.
Some IAAF executives, including Spain’s Jose Maria Odriozola, criticized Doha’s $37 million offer, which was made minutes before last year’s vote.