- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A Eugene nonprofit group organizing next month’s Olympic track and field trials is short on money and looking for donations.

TrackTown USA says its cash on hand won’t cover the cost of putting on the 10-day 2016 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, reported The Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/28VZyjX ). This week, the group received a $75,000 pledge from the city of Springfield.

TrackTown has declined to say how big its budget gap is or release specifics about its spending plan for the event.

“It’s definitely not cause for concern,”TrackTown USA CEO Michael Reilly told the Register-Guard. “We’ve got a small gap.”

Reilly said he’s confident ticket and vendor sales at the event, which begins July 1, will make up for the shortfall. He said the operating budget is around $10 million.

TrackTown President Vin Lananna said there was also a budget gap during the last two Olympic trials in Eugene.

“But we always get there. I have reasonable confidence, I wouldn’t say full confidence, but I have reasonable confidence we’re going to get there,” he said.

Lananna and Travel Lane County President and CEO Kari Westlund requested the $75,000 subsidy from the Springfield City Council. The council approved the payment through hotel tax revenue.

“The event budget is facing a serious deficit,” Westlund told the council, “and continued production of this event to the high standards set in 2008 and 2012 is imperative in my opinion.”

Lane County has committed of $590,000 to TrackTown between 2013 and 2020, said county spokesman Jason Davis. The money came from hotel tax and video lottery revenue.

“If we want to host the Olympic Trials here, and want to deliver an event to the country at the level we have been, it’s going to take a little bit of (public) support, a lot of sponsorship support, earned revenue, all of those things to build a budget out,” Westlund said.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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