Secretive UO Foundation’s $68M Hayward Field tart-up delayed again

update: And now it seems that the IAAF’s Lamine Diack, who gave the 2021 IAAF meet to Lananna’s TrackTown and UO, is implicated in a vote buying scheme over the award of the 2016 Olympics to Rio. I’m shocked:

Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman was taken into custody last Tuesday (September 5) under suspicion of involvement in a vote-buying scheme in the Brazilian city’s successful bid for the event.

The Brazilian has not been charged with anything but is suspected by prosecutors of being the main link between Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, a businessman nicknamed “King Arthur”, and Diack, the Senegalese who was President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) between 1999 and 2015.

9/11/2017: The Oregonian’s Ken Goe has a story here, but despite the $25M in state subsidies for the 2021 IAAF championship, no one will say anything substantive on the record. Perhaps that’s because Vin Lananna and Paul Weinhold want to hit up Governor Kate Brown and the taxpayers for more, and a construction start would make that harder?

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 12.38.31 PM

9/3/2015: UO Board of Trustees to approve glitzy Hayward Field makeover

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 3.37.27 PM

Christian Hill has the story in the RG here:

The University of Oregon is continuing to get all its Ducks in a row as it prepares for a major expansion and renovation of iconic Hayward Field.

The next step comes next Thursday, Sept. 10, when the UO Board’s Facilities and Finance Committee will be asked to give its blessing to an update of the historic stadium with flexibility to seat up to 30,000 fans.

More specifically, the committee will be asked to approve a resolution allowing UO President Michael Schill to enter into a lease with Hayward Field Enhancement LLC, a corporation created by the UO Foundation, for the duration of the renovation.

The corporation’s single person is not identified in a statement released by the foundation. A foundation spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking additional details. …

The renovation project is widely viewed as being put on a fast track — no pun intended — to prepare for the World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which Hayward will host in 2021. It’s the first time that the world championships have ever been awarded to a venue in the United States. …

More on UO’s negotiations with the famously corrupt IAAF here – including current Oregon Governor Kate Brown on video, delivering Kitzhaber’s promise of $30M in state tax money. Phil Knight had given Kitz’s campaign $250K. Not a bad ROI.

Today’s NYT has a report on the IAAF’s new chairman Sebastian Coe, here. Coe is a Nike consultant, and people are already raising questions about that dual role:

“He is definitely the man for the job,” said Mary Wittenberg, the former chief of the New York City Marathon. “It’s really important that he seizes the moment to lead, to step above all potential conflict. Ditch the Nike and any other consulting arrangements.”

At a moment of such clear importance for his sport, the last thing Coe and track and field need is for his own message to get clouded.

UO Board Secretary Angela Wilhems kicked me and the RG’s Diane Dietz out of the Board meeting on UO’s bid to host the IAAF championships, and UO’s public records office is still hiding the documents from the Register Guard:

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 4.08.21 PM

To add to the secrecy, the UO Foundation is hiring Hoffman Construction to build this grandstand. The UO is currently suing Hoffman for $8.5M, alleging they did shoddy work on UO’s newest dorm, the Global Scholars Hall. UO Daily Emerald reporter Gordon Friedman, now at the Statesman Journal, reported on this back in May. UO has said the building is safe, but won’t release the inspection reports. (Thanks to a commenter for this reminder.)

BBC says FBI and IRS investigating IAAF et al over Tracktown bid

This is old news, but presumably the BBC thinks they might shake up some new sources with a reminder:

…Now, the BBC understands, the American authorities – including tax investigators at the IRS – are seeking to investigate if there has been any wrongdoing committed in the US, bringing to total number of agencies investigating the awarding of the championships to three….

More on the “blanchiment d’argent” timeline here, and video here:

 

Eugene “loses” bid for 2020 USATF Olympic Trials

Stanford economist Paul Milgrom has a good explanation of the theory of the winner’s curse here. Oregonian sports reporter Ken Goe has the latest evidence here. Eugene lost the bid but that was probably a win, considering the cost of winning the bid:

USA Track Track & Field has awarded the 2020 Olympic Trials to Mount San Antonio College in suburban Los Angeles.

Eugene had played host to the Olympic Trials in 2008, 2012 and 2016, and had bid for them again for 2020.

Steve Miller, chairman of USATF board directors, said track and field’s governing body wanted to bring the trials to the country’s second-largest media market.

… Hilmer Lodge Stadium at Mt. SAC, which is undergoing a $62 million upgrade, previously had staged the 1968 Olympic Trials for women.

Hayward Field in Eugene also has a planned renovation that originally had been scheduled to begin in the summer of 2016.

That upgrade has not begun. No timetable for the start of the Hayward renovation has been announced.

I wonder if the bidding process was as transparent as the IAAF’s?

 

Secretive UO Foundation delays filing IRS report by 6 months

Under CEO Paul Weinhold the Foundation has cut way back on the information it shares with the public. This IRS report for July 2015-June 2016 will be 10.5 months old when it is released, and will include only the basic legally required information about the Foundation’s dealings with Vin Lananna’s Tracktown and its role in the Hayward Field tart-up and the Knight Campus project.

Thank you for your inquiry.  We will file our 990 on Monday the 15th, and it will be available on our website on Tuesday morning at 8am here; http://www.uofoundation.org/s/1540/foundation16/interior.aspx?sid=1540&gid=1&pgid=6823

Sincerely,

Compliance and Deferred Gifts Administrator

University of Oregon Foundation

1720 E 13th Ave, Ste 410, Eugene, OR  97403

This information, and any attachment, is PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL property of the University of Oregon Foundation.  Any unauthorized reproduction, dissemination or disclosure is prohibited.

Prosecutors investigating bribery allegations in 2021 IAAF Tracktown bid

USAToday has the latest:

The bidding process for the 2021 World Championships in Athletics — the first global track and field championships awarded to the United States —- remains under scrutiny as investigators continue to probe bribery allegations at several international events.

French prosecutors are investigating cash-for-vote allegations that may have played a role in Hayward Field at the University of Oregon’s selection as the site for the championships, Reuters reported on Friday.  Vin Lananna, who took over as the president of USA Track & Field in December, led a local group that secured the 2021 championships. …

In other news, Ken Goe reports that Tracktown may be having trouble raising money for the Hayward Field tart-up project.

University Board may sue Foundation for refusal to provide public records

The Student Press Law Center has the latest news here (from Kentucky, not Oregon):

But even the university has taken issue with the foundation’s records-request compliance practices. In a 14-1 vote earlier this month, UL’s Board of Trustees decided that it may sue the foundation if it does not turn over financial documents.

“That pathway towards restored confidence for our community is critical at this most vulnerable time for the reputation of our university, which quite frankly has been damaged severely because of the secrecy and the veil of secrecy and the shenanigans… that have gone on at the University of Louisville Foundation,” Larry Benz, the chairman of the university’s board of trustees, told Insider Louisville.

Mayor Piercy links high-speed rail $ and 2021 IAAF track championships

Complementary money pits – every politician’s dream. From Diane Dietz in the RG:

The 2021 IAAF World Championships track meet in Eugene presents an opportunity to move teams by rail to Eugene from training sites up and down the Willamette Valley. “It could prove to ourselves and to the ­Legislature what potential (rail) could really have,” Piercy said.

The cost estimate for the cheap rail plan is ~$700M, the expensive plan is $4B. Those are the liar’s budget numbers of course, and are for construction alone. For a comparison, state support for UO is about $60M a year.

Eugene Budget Panel’s Josh Skov slows down $500K IAAF pork proposal

Christian Hill has the story in the RG:

City budget writers have put the brakes on a proposal by Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz to allot $500,000 in the coming budget year toward Eugene’s preparations for the 2021 IAAF World Championships.

The budget that the City Council adopted this week puts the money in a designated reserve fund. The new fiscal year begins Friday. The money can’t be moved out of the reserve and spent until Ruiz returns with clear criteria for how the $500,000 will be used.

… Some budget panel members said they can’t support Ruiz’s request without more details.

“When you have an amount that is as large as $500,000 and are not able to say really what I plan to do with it, that  …  would naturally make people uncomfortable,” Councilor Chris Pryor said at ­a meeting last month.

Committee member Joshua Skov, who is running for a seat on the City Council, said at the same meeting that the request puts the committee in a “tricky position for there not to be a little more definition.”

Skov noted that mistrust has built up among some residents around expensive city projects, including construction of a new City Hall. That will predispose them “to see that half-million dollars as money that’s being spent with little accountability or being spent without really clear definition ahead of time,” he said.

You can find out more Skov and his campaign for the Ward 1 city council seat on his facebook page here. Full disclosure: he’s an economist.

Breaking – Legislature gives Lananna $25M, but not $3M for security

$0 for academics. Saul Hubbard has the news in the RG, here:

With two narrow, last-minute votes, lawmakers on Thursday boosted the state’s tax on hotel stays, a Eugene-driven proposal that took a tortuous path in the short legislative session.

House Bill 4146 would likely pave the way for a $25 million state subsidy for the 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, while also gathering more tax money for other tourism-related work around the state. It raises the current state lodging tax of 1 percent to 1.8 percent for four years, starting in July, and to 1.5 percent after that.

… However, lawmakers rejected another, separate subsidy request from TrackTown in the last days of session. Led by UO athletics executive Vin Lananna, the non-profit had sought $3 million from the state’s general fund to help cover security costs at the 2016 Indoor World Championships in Portland in March and the 2016 Olympic Trials in Eugene this summer. But lawmakers didn’t include any money for the events in the final budget.

Yikes! Oregon Senate trims Track Town subsidy

2/27/2016: Saul Hubbard has more in the RG here:

A last-minute change by the Oregon Senate on Friday to a proposed increase in the state’s lodging tax left Lane County lawmakers fuming.

The change, adopted because of pressure from Portland area Democratic senators, would erode further the size of the tax increase, meaning a smaller pot of new revenue for tourism-­related ventures across the state.

It also could make it more difficult for the tax increase to cover the full $25 million subsidy that will be requested for the 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene.

Under the latest amendments, the state’s lodging tax would increase to 1.8 percent, from 1 percent now, for four years. It would then drop down to a 1.5 percent permanent rate. …

I’m not sure why the legislature is considering even this, given that on Jan 14 Diane Dietz quoted Lananna as saying he can make this work without state subsidies:

Not getting the lodging money would be a big challenge to TrackTown’s goal of bringing 2,000 athletes from 214 countries to Eugene for a nine-day event in August 2021, Lananna said.

But coming up empty-handed in the February session would not stop TrackTown, he said.

“Are we going to go ahead? We’re absolutely going to go ahead. (But) don’t ask me what the next step is. I don’t know.”

And here’s what the Oregonian’s Jeff Manning had on Jan 10:

Track Town is not backing off its contention that it eventually needs $40 million in public funding to stage the event. Backed by the formidable political power trio of Nike, Phil Knight and the University of Oregon, it has plenty of clout in Salem.

“But we don’t have to get there today in this short session,” Lananna said. “We’ve got five years to bring people around.”

…  It’s a lucrative arrangement. Even at part-time, Lananna gets paid $440,000 a year, including some deferred compensation, by the university. Track Town and related entities paid him another $334,300 annually, according to the non-profit’s tax return.

On top of that, Nike pays Lananna $30,000 a year as part of a long-term consulting contract.

… “I heard through the grapevine that you are working on possible plans for an IAAF proposal,” then interim UO President Scott Coltrane wrote in an Aug. 26, 2014, email. “Can you give me an update and briefing via telephone when convenient?”

After talking to Lananna, Coltrane immediately emailed his top lieutenants clearly concerned about whether the UO could fulfill the promises Lananna was making.  “Yikes,” Coltrane wrote in the Aug. 28 email. “Have any of you seen any proposals for what specifically is being proposed for new housing for rehabilitation of residence halls?”

2/23/2016: House passes IAAF subsidy, UO won’t waive fees on public records

Continue reading