EUGENE (26-Jun) -- Addressing reporters at the annual awards breakfast for the Track & Field Writers of America (TAFWA), USA Track & Field CEO Doug Logan confirmed that the Olympic Trials would return here in 2012.
"We'll be here in 2012," said Logan who also announced an extension of USATF's marketing partnership with shoe and apparel company, Nike.
Logan explained that the format of the meet would likely be changed to shorten the number of competition days. He said a "three plus three" format was likely: six competition days to be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of consecutive weekends. The 2008 Trials were held over a span of ten days and featured eight competition days, a format which generated more broadcast television hours, but made for thin programs on certain days.
While Logan spoke of the 2012 Trials coming here as a certainty, he admitted that the deal had not been inked yet with the local organizing committee.
"We don't have a contract, yet," he said.
Logan described the new deal with Nike as "uncommon and creative" and a "very unique deal." While not disclosing any of the financial details, Logan said that the four-year deal --which would be extended by another four years if Chicago gets the 2016 Olympic Games-- would give USATF "full value" for its sports properties. Part of the Nike money will pay for a program to help collegiate athletes make the transition to the professional ranks.
The former soccer executive also said that he had not abandoned his hope of staging a the IAAF World Championships in the United States, a nation which has arguably the world's greatest track team but no national stadium for track and field with enough seating capacity for a major championship. USATF continues to talk with four cities about the idea.
"It is still a significant goal of mine," Logan commented.