The University of Oregon has unveiled a new re-design for the upcoming renovations to Hayward Field, which are expected to open in 2020.
Hayward Field opened in 1919 for football but has been used for track and field since 1921. It has hosted seven U.S. championships since 1986 and the 1972, 1976, 1980, 2008, 2012, and 2016. U.S. Olympic Trials. A record 15 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships have been contested at Hayward Field.
In addition to a nine-lane track, the new design for the stadium will include classrooms, laboratories and research facilities that can be used by students.
The project is backed by private donations and includes donations by Phil and Penny Knight. Their donation amount has not been disclosed.
“As I’ve said many times, my business life was born on Hayward Field,” Nike founder Phil Knight said in a release by the university. “So this is a deeply personal project for me. My goal is to see an enduring monument to the ideals of perseverance, innovation and achievement that my coach, mentor and business partner Bill Bowerman instilled in all his athletes. We will honor Bill Hayward’s and Bill Bowerman’s legendary achievements by creating a magical venue that will remain the heart of the University of Oregon for generations to come.”
The new stadium will hold 12,900 fans but can expand to 30,000 in order to host the 2021 IAAF World Championships. The current stadium has a listed seating capacity of 10,500 but a recent count the Oregonian found 8,500 seats.
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Hayward Field and Oregon have come under criticism in recent months due to delays with renovations. The now-scrapped original plans were unveiled in September 2015 with designs inspired by Nike's Tinker Hatfield. Those renovations ran into issues.
The stadium designers tried to preserve Hayward Field's iconic east grandstand but due to failing structure and non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, tight seating and som obstructed views, the project will move forward and the current grandstand will be replaced. "Elements of the grandstand" will be incorporated into the new facility. The new design satisfies what the International Association of Athletics Federation is looking for before Eugene hosts the outdoor world championships.
Bowerman Tower, a nine-story structure, will be located outside of the stadium and include an observation deck that overlooks the track. The tower is named after the former Oregon track and field coach that led the team to four NCAA championships, 33 Olympians, 13 world record holders and 24 American record holders.
Correction: An earlier version of the story noted that Phil and Penny Knight donated $500 million for the new stadium but that is inaccurate. They donated $500 million for the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.