Ottawa – Athletics Canada announced today that it will play host to the 2018 NACAC Track and Field Championships. The three-day event will take place from Aug. 10-12 at Varsity Stadium, in the heart of downtown Toronto, and will be known as Toronto 2018: Track & Field in the 6ix.
Television coverage has already been confirmed through Athletics Canada’s four-year media rights partnership with CBC. The network is expected to produce two hours of live coverage on Saturday, Aug. 11, and up to two more hours of live coverage on Sunday, Aug. 12.
The Championships will feature more than 600 athletes from 31 different countries throughout North America, Central America and the Caribbean, in 40 different track and field events. Replicating the atmosphere at the 2015 Pan American Games, Toronto 2018: Track & Field in the 6ix will showcase live music, exciting athlete introductions, first-rate in-stadium hosting, street exhibitions and will celebrate Toronto’s vibrant Latin American and Caribbean culture.
“Our objective is to provide a memorable sport spectacle to the thousands of fans in the seats at Varsity Stadium, and to the hundreds of thousands who will be watching on CBC,” said Mathieu Gentès, Athletics Canada’s Chief Operating Officer. “With 15,000 fans expected on site and CBC coverage for the event confirmed, Toronto 2018 will also provide potential sponsors and partners in corporate Canada with a fantastic platform from which to connect with our sport, world-class athletes and fans across the country.”
As the host country, Athletics Canada plans to field a full team that features its top track and field athletes, including Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse, World medallists Melissa Bishop and Aaron Brown, along with up and coming stars such as Brittany Crew and Alysha Newman, both of whom were finalists at the World Championships in London in August.
The draw of competition will be bolstered by a minimum prize purse of $160,000 awarded to the top-three finishers in each event. It has also been confirmed that event winners will receive an automatic berth to the 2019 IAAF World Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar, pending approval of their respective national federation.
Reflecting on the opportunity to represent Canada at the NACAC Championships, World, Olympic and Pan American medallist Andre De Grasse said, “Racing at home again as I did in 2015 at the Pan Am Games, in front of friends, family and Toronto’s amazing sports fans will be the highlight of my 2018 season. I plan to arrive in Toronto next August in top form.”
Championship week will also include an international caliber coaching conference accessible to all coaches in Canada, in addition to a future star’s camp that will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to selected youth.