City & Government, Springfield

Springfield wants its own slice of TrackTown -Indoor track proposed on Glenwood riverfront

By 2021, a new structure could grace the vacant land along Glenwood’s riverfront. Aliya Hall/The Chronicle

SPRINGFIELD – By 2021, a new structure could grace the vacant land along Glenwood’s riverfront. An indoor track facility has recently been proposed to fulfill that space, which would complement the reconstructed Hayward Field in Eugene.
”It serves as the catalytic economic development project for Glenwood that attracts adjacent development and draws new dollars to the local economy at a time of year for hotels and the visitor economy,” Mayor Christine Lundberg, who is also the president of the Springfield Community Development Corporation (SCDC). ”It is reputation-building for Springfield.”
On Feb. 20 the SCDC, Kari Westlund, Travel Lane County president and CEO and Greg James, Willamalane Park and Recreation District board president, proposed the track during a Springfield City Club meeting.
”Travel Lane County and the Eugene, Cascades and Coast Sports Commission see an indoor track and event facility as supporting our area’s unique legacy and positioning as TrackTown USA,” Westlund said. ”An indoor hydraulic banked track would be unique in Oregon and along the entire I-5 corridor, enabling us to secure a robust schedule of indoor track meets during January, February and March of each year, which is typically a slow time for area hotels and restaurants.”
The facility will include a hydraulic banked track that can flatten to accommodate other sports like basketball, gymnastics, volleyball, pickleball and more.
It will also be able to host local, regional and national level meets, as well as housing events like concerts and trade shows. The facility will be accessible for the entire community to encourage everyone to be active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
”We are excited to support the effort to establish a community facility that can host events for many interested user groups, providing both economic development and access to sports tournaments for local participants,” Westlund said.
The goal is to break ground no later than the beginning of the 2021 World Championship games, and depending on the financing availability, construction will take around 18 months. Funding will come from a variety of sources, both public and private.
”The project is in the very first stages,” Lundberg said. ”Many of the aspects of the project are still being worked out.”
The City Council chose the indoor track project along with two other projects as a ”number one project for the community,” she explained. The SCDC is working with the City, the Springfield Economic Development Agency (SEDA), Willamalane, Lane County, Travel Lane County and community businesses to see the project to completion.
”A national meet level indoor track will be a unique feature that exists nowhere else on the West Coast,” Lundberg said. ”It will cement Springfield’s place as part of TrackTown and help bring our history to the attention of the public. It will serve residents as an all-access recreation and tournament facility in an underserved part of Springfield.”



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