'Events that happen at Hayward Field benefit us extremely'

EUGENE, Ore. - The NCAA track and field championships pumped $6 million worth of economic activity into the local economy, Travel Lane County estimates.

This week's USA Track and Field Championships will conjure up another $8 1/2 million in economic activity, the visitor bureau says.

That has businesses near historic Hayward Field going ga-ga.

From June 25 through June 28, the nation's elite track athletes compete for a shot at representing the U.S. at the World Championships in China this August.

"This is the trials for the Olympic Games of the sport, the World Championships, which we have won the honor of hosting in 2021," said Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA. "Everyone that plans to be at the World Championships in Beijing this summer for the United States must compete and come through Hayward Field."

Organizers expect 1,700 athletes to take part.

At Studio One Cafe, owner Anthony McCabe said his business doubles during big track events like the NCAA championships and the Prefontaine Classic. McCabe has hired 2 extra employees to help meet the demand.

"We'll be packed out for 4 days," he said. "The track meets and all the events that happen at Hayward Field benefit us extremely, as well as all the other small businesses in this area."

Next door at Agate Alley Bistro, general manager Tony Schmidt said employees will be working more hours to serve the increase in business.

"People are working some long hours, but they're enjoying seeing more people come in - considering we're heading into summer and things are going to die off," Schmidt said.