By Jonathan Gault
January 3, 2019
The Prefontaine Classic could be moving south. With its usual site, Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., undergoing a massive reconstruction project, the US’s only Diamond League meet is in need of a new venue for 2019. In track & field circles, one venue’s name has popped up more than any other: Stanford University’s Cobb Track & Angell Field.
Something certainly appears to be in the works between Stanford and Pre as the officials’ calendar for the USATF Pacific Association lists the Prefontaine Classic as one of its meets with Stanford listed in the “site” column. The date of the meet is Sunday, June 30, which is what the Diamond League lists on its official calendar.
“We are currently discussing the possibility of hosting Prefontaine with meet organizers but cannot confirm until we’ve finalized a contract,” says Jess Riden, who serves as the director of the Stanford and Payton Jordan Invitationals in her role as assistant athletic director and director of operations for Stanford cross country and track & field. “There will be a joint announcement between Stanford and Prefontaine if and when that occurs.”
In an email to LetsRun.com, Pre Classic press chief Jeff Oliver wrote that, “The Prefontaine Classic does not have a statement on the location of the 2019 meet at this time. We are hopeful to make an official announcement later this month.”
In addition to the annual Stanford and Payton Jordan Invitationals, Cobb Track & Angell Field hosted the USATF Outdoor Championships in 2002 and 2003. According to Stanford’s website, it has a permanent capacity of 1,772, which would make it by far the smallest stadium to host a Diamond League (no other venue has fewer than 12,000 permanent seats; Stanford would presumably add temporary seating should it host the meet).