Sports

Sports, Leisure & Lifestyle

Karen Richards

Soccer has been growing in the United States for years, and the number of professional teams is exploding. Fans in Eugene and Springfield are beneficiaries of the expansion. The Lane United Football Club begins its second season Friday.

Lane United is a semi-professional team. Most of the athletes are current top-tier college players. This year, there’s also a group of club players from Spain. Spokesman Chris Burke says the mix makes for a quality game:

Jes Burns

Monday the final closing on Civic Stadium and the surrounding property was completed. The nonprofit group Eugene Civic Alliance and more than 120 private donors, raised 4 million dollars to purchase the site from the city.

www.iaaf.org

Eugene, Oregon has been awarded the 2021 World Track and Field Championships after many weeks of quiet negotiations.

Eugene earned a close second in last fall’s bid for the 2019 World Championships. In February, organizers appealed to IAAF president Lamine Diack, and were encouraged to campaign for the 2021 event. Track Town USA President Vin Lananna says he wasn’t feeling confident until this week. He spoke from Beijing after the council meeting: 

GoDucks.com

The University of Oregon Men's Basketball team stays alive in the NCAA tournament. The 8th seeded Ducks defeated 9th seeded Oklahoma State 79-73 Friday night. Dillon Brooks had 17 points for the Ducks. Head Coach Dana Altman got the win in his return to Omaha in the same building where he once coached Creighton. Oregon Guard Joseph Young was asked about playing Wisconsin next, the team that ousted the Ducks in the tournament last year.

U of O Economics Professor Bill Harbaugh has been in the news recently for his controversial acquisition of internal administrative U of O communications.  Tuesday he chimed in on football coach Mark Helfrich's new five-year, $17 million contract.

Harbaugh says the U of O's success in football comes at the expense of the University as a whole:

Harbaugh: "It's probably a mistake for the University to be so invested in big-time sports, particularly college football.  The University as a whole would be better off with a team that won half the games and had half the budget."

Eugene, Cascades & Coast

Eugene and Springfield are holding two weekend-long volleyball tournaments for USA Volleyball Junior Girls Club Teams. Organizers expect these tournaments will attract thousands of athletes, coaches and college recruiters.  

Mike Gaffaney  is with the Eugene, Cascades and Coast Sports Commission. He expects many participants will be from out of town and will bring business to the Eugene-Springfield area.  

Gaffaney: "Everybody's staying in hotel rooms. They're eating at restaurants. They're spending money on flights, car rentals, those kind of things."

Desmond O'Boyle

Oregon fans were deflated following the 42 to 20 loss to Ohio State in the National Championship Monday night.

Trailing 35 to 20 halfway through the fourth quarter, the Ducks began playing desperate football. The defense was unable to stop Ohio's running game, and the offense couldn't find their rhythm. When a comeback was obviously out of reach, people began closing their bar tabs and the sour taste of defeat was pasted on everyone's faces. Oregon student Enrique Munoz describes the loss.

The wait is over! Oregon plays Ohio State tonight in the first ever national College Football Championship Game. Eugene area eateries are preparing for a big night.

What goes better with football than pizza? Pizza delivery drivers will be busy tonight.  Tim Hill is General Manager at Track Town Pizza. His crew was rolling out dough this morning in preparation. The restaurant near campus already has an order for 75 giant pizzas for a watch party on campus. Hill expects they'll make and deliver about 500 pizzas.

Tiffany Eckert

In a lead up to the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the Oregon Ducks gave members of the media some time. A few key players gave interviews then all mics pointed toward Heisman winner, Quarterback Marcus Mariota. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert was there and filed this report.

Mariota says as a boy growing up in Hawaii, he dreamed of winning a national championship game. Now he has the chance.

Mariota: "You know I'd trade the Heisman to win this. --no disrespect but it means a lot more because it's a team effort."

Tyler Roemer / Bike Magazine

Oregon's mountain biking trails are featured in a national magazine this month. Lane County tourism boosters hope the exposure will bring more visitors to the region.

Bike Magazine puts out its Bible of Bike Tests issue every January. In this month's issue, cyclists tested bikes on trails in Oakridge, along the McKenzie River, and in Central Oregon.
Kari Westlund is with Travel Lane County.

Pages