The 2023 New England Outdoor Track and Field Championship will be hosted at Cameron Stadium in Bangor on June 10.
The high school meet was originally slated to be hosted by Thornton Academy in Saco this season. When that fell through and Bangor Athletic Director Steve Vanidestine learned that the event needed a new host, he stepped in.
After hosting the Class A state meet last year, Vanidestine is excited to host even more athletes, coaches and fans.
“I’d say this is for me, almost my 40th year as athletic director, it’s one of the biggest things we’ve hosted as far as having kids from states all over New England,” Vanidestine said.
“I am so proud that we will have athletes in this meet [from Bangor] and some will be at the top of the finishers of the events they’re in. It’s unique that this has happened so quickly and with these kids.”
Hosting such a prominent track meet, which has the potential to draw tens of thousands of athletes and fans from throughout New England, is the latest achievement for Bangor. When the upgraded Cameron Stadium debuted in 2021, it sparked hope that the Queen City could again become a perennial host of large-scale athletic events. Since then, Bangor facilities have hosted regional, state and now New England championship meets.
Cameron Stadium saw between 5,000 to 6,000 people at the Class A state meet last year, Vanidestine said. He said he’s been working with the city to open more parking and also wants to add more local food and drink options as well as more bathroom facilities.
“I’ve had multiple schools comment they’re so excited to come up, and the facility is bringing people to Bangor and to see that what we envisioned has happened so quickly is great,” Vanidestine said, adding that Superintendent James Tager is supportive of the athletics program and that Bangor High School Principal Paul Butler is excited to host the event.
“We’d love to see this area as a place that will bring people in. We have Mansfield Stadium, the Cross Insurance Center and it’s a great reflection of what Bangor used to be,” Vanidestine added.
Vanidestine said he wants to keep improving Cameron Stadium in the future and build a big screen to show track and field results and replays as well as coach interviews at halftime.
“I am so pleased for the kids and track coach Alan Mosca,” Vanidestine said. “I am so happy that schools want to come.”