City of Springfield granted $75,000 to accommodate TrackTown USA’s cash shortage
Days before the 2016 Track and Field U.S. Olympic Trials are set to take place at Historic Hayward Field, Eugene-based nonprofit organization TrackTown USA revealed that it is short on cash to host the event.
The organization turned to the city of Springfield for aid and was granted $75,000 from hotel tax revenues.
TrackTown USA is a Eugene-based nonprofit with the purpose “to elevate track and field in the mind of the American public and to enhance the profile of Eugene-Springfield region and the entire state of Oregon as ‘Track Town USA,’” according to its mission statement.
When TrackTown USA hosted the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, its revenue came from ticket sales but mostly from donations and funding from local and state governments.
“In 2008, we were fortunate to be able to receive funds from the federal government to help us with many things, in particular security,” TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna said at a meeting last week where he went to the City of Springfield to ask for funding. “This year, in 2016, that is not the case.”
The 10-day event is said to cost around $10 million. TrackTown USA declined to detail the budget gap or its expenditure plan. It’s unclear whether the grant from the City of Springfield would help close much of the shortfall.
TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly said he’s not worried, as they have “a small gap.”
According to its latest tax form in 2014, TrackTown USA received $4.9 million in ticket sales, government money and donations but spent over $5.9 million in hosting the World Junior Track & Field Championships and the Run TrackTown High Performance meet in Eugene. This also includes the pay and benefits for the three voting members — Lananna, Reilly and project director Sam Lapray, which totalled $647,000.
The University of Oregon will not financially support TrackTown USA, despite the trials being hosted on campus, according to UO spokesman Tobin Klinger.
The City of Eugene contributed a total of $200,000 to the Olympic Trials and to last year’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Between 2013 and 2020, TrackTown USA is receiving $590,000 from the city.
TrackTown USA was not able to be reached on June 24 for a comment.
The 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials are set to start July 1 at Hayward Field.
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