… “The fans gave me almost chills.” The problem is, there have not been many of them compared to other championships. Hayward Field has a capacity of about 30,000. Once sponsors and delegations from every country were taken care of, it sold about 12,000 seats per session. It still sold 90 percent of available tickets, with some but not all night sessions selling out.
If you want to put on the best track meet in the United States, Eugene is an obvious choice. If you want to expand the reach of the sport in the United States, it is not the best choice. Only locals or fans willing to make a long pilgrimage could have attended. Both of those groups are composed of people track and field already has. …
“We knew there was a risk,” Coe said. “I do politely make the point there weren’t a lot of options available. There should have been, and we should have engaged earlier.” Coe wished more cities had engaged with USATF, but only Eugene pushed to host after World Athletics made clear it wanted to bring the event to the United States.
… My Soul Hot Chicken’s business model is focused on locals, Wiley says, and doesn’t rely on tourists or students. But after hearing that Oregon22 would be good for restaurants, he says, he ordered a lot more chicken and bread than he normally would for a week.
But business during Oregon22 has been so slow, he adds, that for this week he only ordered some cabbage. “I am 25 percent of what I projected to do,” he says.
So far, Wiley estimates he’s lost thousands of dollars — a big number for a new business. “I was paying payroll and had barely enough to cover it,” he says. “It’s been shitty.”
Losing so much money in a 10-day event that the state of Oregon poured $40 million into has been frustrating, he says. “You think they’d want to make sure local businesses would do well,” he says. “Everyone I’ve talked to has done poorly.”
When the actual data is out it will be interesting to revisit EcoNorthWest’s 2015 Economic Impact study, which was used as justification for the state subsidies.