One day after the International Olympic Committee announced it would spend the next four weeks determining the fate of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, IOC member Dick Pound went a step further.
Pound told USA TODAY Sports on Monday that the postponement of the Summer Games is inevitable, probably until 2021, though no official announcement has been made by either the IOC or officials in Japan.
"On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided," Pound said. "The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know."
Locally, the significance of the Olympics being postponed would be far-reaching.
The 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials are scheduled to take place June 19-28 at Hayward Field. That meet would be canceled if there are no 2020 Olympics.
The World Outdoor Track & Field Championships also are being hosted by Eugene Aug. 6-15, 2021. If the Olympics moves to 2021, the world championships also would be canceled next summer.
Organizers of those meets are in a state of flux as they wait for official word from the IOC.
Track Town USA, the local organizing committee for the Olympic Trials, referred all questions on Monday to USA Track & Field, which said there would be no statement until the Olympic postponement is official.
Past Olympic Trials held in Eugene brought $37 million to the local economy in 2016, $31 million in 2012 and $28 million in 2008, according to previous statements by Travel Lane County president and CEO Kari Westlund.
Combined, that isn’t half the economic impact predicted for what was coming n 2021.
Planning for the first world outdoor championships held in the U.S. has been going on for six years and was the impetus for a $200 million, two-year rebuild of Hayward Field, which was scheduled to open in mid-May for the now-canceled Pac-12 championship meet.
The world championships are expected to bring about 2,000 athletes, 3,000 media members and 4,000 volunteers to Eugene and the surrounding cities, and an estimated 50,000 daily visitors over the course of the 10-day meet, including 27,000 or so who would be inside the stadium.
A 2015 study predicted the event would bring $205 million to the area.
"Until we see an announcement that ties the Olympic Games to a new date, then there’s nothing really that anyone can do," Westlund said Monday afternoon. "Postponing could mean three months, it could mean a year, it could mean anything in between, and until we know what they’re going to do, I don’t think there’s any way to even begin to spend time looking at what that means downstream from that decision."
The world championships are held every other year so moving the meet to 2022 is a possibility if 2021 becomes an Olympic year.
During a site visit to Oregon in January, World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon talked about the importance of not just hosting the first world outdoor championship meet in the U.S., but the significance of hosting it at Hayward Field.
"Eugene isn’t any town, it’s Track Town," Ridgeon said then. "The passion levels are higher here."
World Athletics issued a statement to Athleticsweekly.com on Monday indicating the world championships would remain in Eugene.
"World Athletics has already been in discussion with the Oregon 21 organising (sic) committee regarding the possibility the Olympic Games may move to next year," the statement read. "They in turn have held discussions with their key stakeholders and have reassured us they will work with all of their partners and stakeholders to ensure that Oregon is able to host the World Athletics Championships on alternative dates should that prove necessary."
Follow Chris Hansen on Twitter @chansen_RG or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more sports coverage, visit registerguard.com. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.