Going green at every turn at Portland 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Already a global leader in producing sustainable multi-day sporting events, TrackTown USA turned the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland last month into a showcase for “green” events that leave a lasting impact on participants and the community.

The Eugene-based non-profit company delivered on a variety of sustainable initiatives to make Portland 2016 not just a four-day meet, but a community celebration. For the fifth consecutive year, TTUSA will participate in the Council for Responsible Sport’s process of certification for social and environmental responsibility at sporting events.

The 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships were held at the Oregon Convention Center (OCC), the first of only two convention centers in the U.S. to be certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Building. LEED is a highly regarded green building certification program. It uses rating systems for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings to help owners be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

During the World Indoor Championships, TrackTown was able to take advantage of the OCC’s existing waste recycling and composting program by implementing “sustainability stations” staffed with Green Team volunteers for waste sorting and spectator engagement of multiple sustainability initiatives. It also contributed to a successful waste diversion effort via the use of hand dryers over paper towels in rest rooms; providing printed results only upon request in the Main Media Center; repurposing branded banners; providing reusable water bottles for volunteers and media; asking fans to arrive via public transit or bicycle; and instituting a food drive at the opening ceremonies.

The magnificent architecture, natural beauty and vibrant culture of the City of Portland was highlighted throughout the event. The meet branding featured iconic Portland images such as the OCC spires, Tilikum Crossing Bridge, Broadway Avenue and White Stag neon sign. In the OCC’s Market Street, visitors from around the world enjoyed dumplings, fresh salads, soups, doughnuts and more from local food carts surrounded by the flags of all of the participating countries.


Thousands of people gathered for the Portland 2016 Medal Ceremonies at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

By moving the medal ceremonies outside of the competition venue to Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland – the site of a free community festival each day – TrackTown provided fans and local citizens with unprecedented access to the athletes. Thousands of people gathered in the Square each night to witness the medal ceremonies in which a live orchestra played the national anthems of the country of each gold medalist.


230 high school kids participated in the Pole Vault Festival and then got a front row seat to the opening night of Pole Vault competition at Portland 2016.

One of the most gratifying outcomes of the meet was the overall success of the many youth initiatives. TrackTown estimates that more than 10,000 youngsters participated in at least one of the following programs – House of Track, Portland Indoor Track Classic, Middle School 60m Dash, Pole Vault Festival, 4×400-meter relays during World Indoors, and a professional development program featuring venue tours for underprivileged students and an elite athlete speaker series at public schools.

In partnership with the City of Portland, thousands of volunteers, community partners, local vendors and staff, TrackTown is proud to have made the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships “more than a meet.” As one young participant said, “The only way this could be better is if doughnuts were raining from the ceiling.”