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World Athletics Championships brings economic boost to Eugene

The owner of Track Town Pizza said it was their "busiest 10-day period of all time."

EUGENE, Ore. — The World Athletics Championships officially wrapped up in Eugene, Ore. on Sunday. The event brought visitors from all over the world and gave businesses in the area a much-needed boost. 

According to Travel Oregon, about 150,000 tickets were sold throughout the 10-day track and field event. 

Travel Lane County estimated around 30,000 to 50,000 people traveled to Eugene from out of the area. 

That includes Ruth and Dan Conley, who came all the way from Florida.

“It was awesome. Being a track enthusiast myself all my life, not getting the opportunity to go to really big meets until I retired — this was the Mecca of track and field.”

Credit: KGW News
Ruth and Dan Conley traveled from Florida to watch the 2022 World Championships.

RELATED: Oregon's Ryan Crouser wins shot put gold at World Athletics Championships

But Hayward Field wasn’t the only place attracting the visitors. 

Some businesses and restaurants told KGW they were slammed with customers thanks to the influx in visitors. 

“It was actually the busiest 10-day period of all time,” said Tim Hill, owner of Track Town Pizza. 

Hill said his pizza parlor served over 12,000 people within the past 10 days, and baked at least 8,000 pizzas.

Credit: KGW News
Pizza at Track Town Pizza

He said despite it being extremely hectic, he wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

RELATED: University of Oregon wants to see more gender equality in track and field leadership

“It felt like we had some experience with all the Olympic trials that Eugene has hosted,” said Hill. “This was definitely an uptick in business over the Olympic trials. It was right up there with football — football is still our busiest days, but it was like 10 of those in a row.”

Clothing stores also got some major attention. 

“People love the fact that we don’t have sales tax in Oregon,” said Ann Hathaway, former owner of the Clothes Horse store off East 5th Avenue. 

Credit: Kgw News
Clothes Horse

Hathaway said the championships couldn't have come at a better time. Clothes Horse is celebrating its 30th year in the business. She said they are beyond thankful visitors shopped at local stores.

“I definitely saw a lot of foot traffic of people here for the track, and then they came over to the riverfront festival,” said Hathaway. “There was a lot to draw people to this area, so we were really fortunate to be in their walking path.”

But like the saying goes — all good things must come to an end.    

“I am a little happy that it’s over now,” said Hill. 

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