The Eugene, Cascades & Sports region is a powerhouse sports destination. While Eugene is best known for its track and field events, the area also hosts everything from traditional sports like football and baseball to offbeat competitions like sandboarding and mountain biking.
Eugene, Oregon is called “TrackTown, USA” because of its longstanding history of hosting track and field competitions. In fact, Eugene was awarded the hosting rights for the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships through 2021.
The area has also hosted the U.S. Olympic Team Trials- Track & Field first in 1972, and again in 1976 and 1980. The Trials returned to Eugene in 2008 and 2012 and will return again in 2016. The USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be hosted in Eugene in 2015. Another exciting event hosted in Eugene in July 2014 was the IAAF World Junior Championships, making it the first time this event has ever been held in the U.S. While track and field is certainly Eugene’s marquee, many other sports have come to love this entire region for all its great amenities.
From Hardwood Floors and Synthetic Tracks to Concrete Bowls and Sandy Slopes
About 16 miles Southeast of Eugene is Dexter Lake, a great natural venue for rowing competitions. It is fully buoyed with seven permanent lanes for rowing, and is used often for large regattas. The lake is also known for dragboat races, sailing and fishing, and features an 18-hole disc golf course.
WJ Skatepark + Urban Plaza
WJ Skatepark, in Eugene, is the largest covered and lighted public skatepark in the country. It has a half-acre of custom-designed terrain that’s ideal for hosting competitions, and features elements for both beginners and experts. The Urban Plaza provides ample seating and space for events, free Wi-Fi and vendor pads for food carts.
Home to the University of Oregon football team, Autzen is the largest outdoor sports arena in the state, and one of the loudest in the entire country! The complex seats 54,000 spectators and is easily accessible by shuttle or car.
Sand Master Park
Located in Florence on the largest coastal dunes in North America, Sand Master Park is the world’s first sandboarding park. It features 40 acres of sculpted sand dunes with beginner and advanced slopes. Don’t miss Sand Master Jam, the longest running sandboard competition in the world held every summer.
Moshofsky Sports Center
This multipurpose indoor facility at the University of Oregon has played host to numerous events, including NCAA Division I and II volleyball and the Oregon MLK Volleyball Team Classic. It includes a full-length artificial football surface and a synthetic four-lane, 120-meter running track.
Willamalane Center for Sports and Recreation
This 97,000-square-foot complex in Springfield features four hardwood basketball courts, two 90-foot-long outdoor bocce ball courts, several sport courts that can be used for a variety of matches, four indoor tennis courts, climbing walls and a new fitness center. Outside are two lighted artificial turf soccer fields with two more currently under construction.
Matthew Knight Arena
Matthew Knight Arena is the largest indoor venue in Eugene. It is home to the University of Oregon’s men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics teams. The 400,000 square-foot multi-purpose venue seats up to 12,000 spectators and features over 200 televisions throughout. There is ample parking, including an attached garage, and plentiful public transportation access. Matthew Knight Arena has achieved LEED Certification at the Gold Level through a number of measures, including a 30% overall reduction in water use around the building and the use of efficient energy and lighting.
This legendary field at the University of Oregon is home to many of Eugene’s track and field events. It’s comprised of the historic outdoor track, covered grandstands, Powell Plaza and the Bowerman Building, which houses University of Oregon track memorabilia and the university’s International Institute for Sport and Human Performance. Permanent seating is 12,500 and can be expanded for events requiring additional seating.
Entertainment to Satisfy Your Adrenaline Rush or Relaxation Needs
When players aren’t competing, there are plenty of activities throughout the area to keep them busy. Many visitors spend part of their time on the coast at the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America: the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, where they can ride dune buggies or go hiking and horseback riding. Visitors can also enjoy a nice round of golf and relax on the beach. In the valley, adults in the group may want to tour the wine country or visit a number of new brewpubs where they can sample the local craft beers. In the eastern part of the region, great rivers offer whitewater rafting and fishing. There are also plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore, including Oakridge, one of the best mountain biking areas in the country, featuring two designated Epic Rides by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. For those interested activities beyond recreation, check out downtown Eugene’s Hult Center for the Performing Arts with resident companies in ballet, symphony and opera. Visitors can also tour the University of Oregon campus or check out some of the area’s many museums, such as the Oregon Air and Space Museum, Science Factory Children’s Museum & Planetarium, and University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
Eugene Airport 15 Minutes from Downtown
Eugene is easily accessible from most areas of the country. The Eugene Airport is serviced by six major airlines that fly direct from 10 major cities. The airport is only 15 minutes from downtown, and most major hotels offer airport pickup. The Amtrak Station is located in downtown Eugene, or visitors can drive from Portland, which is less than two hours away. Once sports teams arrive, the best way to get around town is by car. Visitors can also take the public transit bus system or rent a bike from the city’s bike sharing program. Eugene has been designated a gold-level “Walk Friendly Community” by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, and most attractions, sports venues and hotels are easy to get to by foot.
- Full-time director who will help evaluate venues, set up site visits, collect information and connect planners with the right people so you find exactly what you need.
- Coupons/discounts to local restaurants and attractions
- Secure necessary permits for large competitions, such as marathons and triathlons
- Promotion, PR/media coverage, social media promotion/marketing
- Set up a microsite for an event with the official logo, information on hotels and venues, instructions on how to get to Eugene and things to do in town
- Site visits
- Housing services
- Qualified local officials in several sports
By Vanessa Day