EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon state officials have only identified about half of the $40 million they’ve committed to the 2021 World Athletics Championships to be held in Eugene.
The Register-Guard reports that records show the full state contribution represents about half the nearly $80.9 million budget for the 10-day event.
“I’m confident we will have the resources we need to pull this event off,” Gov. Kate Brown reassured while speaking to reporters after the event’s Oct. 10 kickoff at the University of Oregon. “We have a number of legislators who are, shall we say, all in.”
So far, Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism commission, has authorized Oregon21, the event’s local organizer, to receive a $10 million grant paid from an increase in the state’s hotel tax that lawmakers approved in 2016. The commission has provided $5 million of that grant funding so far and will pay Oregon21 the remaining $5 million over the next two years, according to the agreement.
Travel Oregon also has committed another $10 million from the commission’s marketing and operations budget. The commission has distributed the first $2 million of that money and is negotiating an agreement to provide the remaining $8 million to Oregon21.
That accounts for $20 million of the $40 million the state committed.
The governor also identified a $5 million allocation in an April 25 letter outlining her strategy to realize the state’s $40 million commitment to the chief executive of World Athletics.
But earlier this year lawmakers didn’t authorize that $5 million, which Brown included in her proposed biennial budget as a special governmental payment.
The event is expected to bring more than 50,000 visitors and 2,000 athletes to the area. Construction is underway on the new $195 million Hayward Field that will serve as the event’s centerpiece.