Hayward Field

Capacity12 650
Country United States of America
CityEugene
ClubsOregon Ducks track and field
Inauguration 02/04/2021
Construction 06.2018 – 06.2020
Cost $ 200 million
Design SRG Partnership
Contractor Hoffman Construction
Address 1580 E 15th Ave, Eugene, OR 97403

Description: Hayward Field

Why was the new Hayward Field built?

In 2015, Eugene was awarded the right to host the 2021 World Athletic Championships, which is to be the first edition of the event to be held in the United States. In connection with the competition, plans have begun to upgrade the distinguished Hayward Field. Built in 1919, the stadium has served almost exclusively as a track and field arena since Autzen Stadium opened in 1967.

Over time, it has become the most important venue for athletics in the entire United States, hosting numerous editions of national championships, Olympic qualifiers, intercollegiate championships and the annual Diamond League Prefontaine Classic. On a daily basis, however, the facility is used by the Oregon Ducks, a sports team affiliated with the University of Oregon.

As the nearly 100-year-old facility did not look very impressive in its current form, a controversial decision was made to demolish the existing stands and build a completely new stadium from scratch in its place, intended to become the most modern track and field arena in the United States, worthy of being called the most important facility for the sport in the country.

Works began in June 2018 with the demolition of the old stands. The design of the new arena was created by SRG Partnership, and Hoffman Construction was the main contractor. The development cost $200 million and was covered by donations, mainly from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, as well as more than 50 other private sponsors.

When did the new Hayward Field open?

The new stadium was ready in June 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, the opening was delayed. In the fall of 2020, Oregon Ducks athletes began using the facility for training purposes. The inaugural event at the stadium, the Hayward Premiere competition, took place from April 2 to 3, 2021. Due to the pandemic, only people associated with the athletes competing entered the stands. The Athletics World Championships, which will be held at the stadium in July 2022, have also been postponed.

What are the features of the new Hayward Field?

The facility is located within the University of Oregon campus. Built from scratch, the stadium is dedicated solely to track and field. The new stands surround the 9-lane track almost around its entire perimeter and are located as close to the track as possible.

With the exception of the north curve, the stands are two-storied. The upper edge of the auditorium has a gently curved contour, changing their size. The upper level is equipped with a maximum of 18 rows, reaching its highest point near the south-west corner. The lower tier has a maximum of 9 rows.

Apart from the northern curve, the stands are covered by a canopy which conceals only the upper parts of the auditorium. The roof construction consists of 76 curved wooden braces and a steel frame, all covered with a light-transmitting copolymer (ETFE) material. Stadium floodlights have been installed in the roof.

In the northeast corner of the venue, a 188-foot 8-inch tall tower was erected to mimic the Olympic torch. It is one of the most distinctive features of the new stadium. Its facade was covered with perforated metal panels depicting some of the most prominent figures who have been associated with the venue. Both the tower and the front of the entire stadium can be illuminated at night.

The stands are equipped with comfortable folding seats, forming a mosaic in shades of green. In the south-east corner, in the upper tier, there is a small gap, creating the impression of a certain separation of the eastern part of the stands from the rest. The northern section of the stands has only one storey, descending gently towards the east until it disappears completely near the north-eastern corner.

The capacity of the stadium is 12,650 spectators. The lack of a second tier and a roof in the northern part of the stands creates the original layout of the arena, giving the impression of being open and airy. It is also possible to add additional temporary spectator seating in this section.

Behind the north arch is a huge (60 feet high and 160 feet wide), slightly curved LED screen, commissioned in 2022, which features an image of Bill Hayward on its exterior. A further two, smaller displays are located in the corners. The screens at Hayward Field are characterized by their irregular shape, with a slanted bottom edge to match the changing outline of the stands.

A statue of Bill Bowerman has been placed near the northeast corner. Originally unveiled in 2000, the monument was located on the northwest side. Bowerman was a longtime University of Oregon track and field coach, who raised many successful athletes over the years, as well as a co-founder of Nike. The statue depicts Bowerman in a coach's pose watching his protégés, looking towards the track, with a stopwatch held in his left hand.

The open space behind the northeast corner, at the intersection of Agate Street and 15th Avenue, is called Powell Plaza. The main entrance to the stadium grounds is located there.

The spaces underneath the stands contain training and warm-up rooms with facilities for practicing sprints, hurdles, long jump, high jump and even pole vaulting, among others. In addition, the facility offers a number of other premises, apart from locker rooms, also offices, medical and wellness facilities, an auditorium, catering and service outlets, etc.

The entire stadium is filled with symbols emphasising its typically track and field character, as well as referring to its history and region. On the walls there are numerous murals or images of famous athletes and coaches associated with the facility. The stadium's tower houses the so-called Hayward Hall, where visitors can see exhibitions on the rich history of local track and field.

Like its predecessor, named so in 1919, the facility is named after Bill Hayward, who coached the Oregon Ducks athletes for over four decades and also worked as a coach for the US Olympic team from 1908 to 1932.

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