The University of Oregon has unveiled plans to build a futuristic new track and field stadium, slated to open in 2020.
The University said Hayward Field will set a new standard for sports venues, create world-class training and competition facilities for student-athletes, and incorporate new laboratories and research facilities to better understand the potential of human performance.
Watch a video of Hayward Field’s history and planned future here.
The new stadium’s permanent capacity will be 12,900, slightly larger than the 10,500 fans it currently holds. This will be expandable to nearly 30,000 for the IAAF World Outdoor Championships in 2021.
With every view unobstructed, and the front row seats virtually on top of the track, those fans will be part of the action, upholding a Hayward hallmark—the thunderous roar that spurs on the stars of track and field on to record-breaking performances.
The design team initially sought to preserve Hayward Field’s landmark east grandstand. Because of numerous factors—a failing structure, noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, tight seating, obstructed sightlines, and virtually no amenities—they asked, “What would Bowerman do?” While no one can know that for sure, it was a unanimous conclusion to look to the future and take a bold, innovative approach.
Plans call for elements of the grandstand to be incorporated into the new facility to preserve the rich heritage of the original stadium through stories in exhibits and graphics.
Rising above the stadium will be the nine-story Bowerman Tower: symbolizing the Olympic torch, the tower is an ode to the man whose last act as coach was leading Team USA in the 1972 Olympic Games.
Interpretive exhibits in the lobby will tell the story of a man who led his teams to four NCAA Championships; the top will offer a 128ft high observation deck with panoramic views of the track, campus, and beyond.
Designed to the exact specifications of world-class athletes and global competitions, from locker rooms to practice areas and athletic medicine rooms, the new Hayward Field will provide UO student-athletes with optimal facilities for training and competition, 365 days a year for generations to come.
Robert Johnson, head coach of UO track and field, said that the designs point to even more success for a programme steeped in excellence. Johnson said:
The new Hayward Field stadium and facilities will now be a fitting reflection of that tradition.
A place where current and future student-athletes can rest, recover, and prepare to proudly carry on this rich legacy. A heartfelt thank you to those who are investing in the next generation of legendary moments at Hayward Field. And to all of the fans who make Eugene special, we can’t wait for you to bring the knowledge and Hayward Field magic that is unparalleled in the sport of track and field around the world.
Michael H. Schill, University of Oregon president andprofessor of lawsaid:
When complete, Hayward Field will be nothing less than the finest track and field facility in the world, emblematic of the risk takers and innovators who have made Oregon great.
The new design for Hayward Field is awe-inspiring, amazing, and completely in accord with the university’s relentless pursuit of excellence in everything that we do.
The project is funded entirely by private donations, led by Phil and Penny Knight and including gifts from more than 50 donors.
It will open the same year as the first phase of the nearby Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, a game-changing, 175,000-square-foot research complex that expands the UO’s science and innovation capabilities and is made possible by the Knights’ $500 million lead gift.
Images courtesy of the University of Oregon.