Hayward Field

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Hayward Field
Hayward Field 6-4-11.JPG
2011 Prefontaine Classic
Location 1580 E. 15th Street
Eugene, Oregon, U.S.
Owner University of Oregon
Operator University of Oregon
Capacity 10,500 (expandable 21,000)
Broke ground 1919
Opened 1919 – (for football)
1921 – (for track)
Oregon Ducks track and field (NCAA)
Oregon Ducks football (NCAA)
HaywardField is located in United States
Location in the United States

Hayward Field, in Eugene, Oregon, is one of the best-known historic track and field stadiums in the United States.[1] Nearly a century in age, it was the on-campus home of the University of Oregon's football team from 1919 through 1966, and has been the home to the Ducks' track and field teams since 1921. Hayward Field was named after track coach Bill Hayward, who ran the Ducks' program from 1904 to 1947. Renovated in 2004, it is one of only five International Association of Athletic Federations Class 1 certified tracks in the United States (along with Hutsell-Rosen Track, Icahn Stadium, John McDonnell Field and Rock Chalk Park). The elevation of Hayward Field is approximately 420 feet (130 m) above sea level.


Hayward was built 96 years ago in 1919 to replace Kincaid Field, and was intended to primarily serve the school's football program.[2][3][4] In 1921, a six-lane cinder track was constructed around the football field.[3] In 1949, a 28-row grandstand in the south end zone was constructed; with temporary bleachers in adjacent corners, the venue's capacity was raised to 22,500 for football.[5] By the 1960s, the football team had outgrown the venue and, outside of the Civil War game with Oregon State, played its higher-attended games in Portland at Multnomah Stadium. Autzen Stadium opened in September 1967, and Hayward Field became a facility solely for track and field.[3]

The track was widened to eight lanes in late in the summer of 1969 and converted to an all-weather surface that autumn.[6][7] Its first synthetic track was Pro-Turf,[7] a urethane and sand composite which led to a hard and fast surface; it produced many world records and gained a reputation as the earth's fastest track.[8] Light in color, it was resurfaced with the same in 1976.[9]

Decayed and in disrepair,[10][11][12][13] the original west grandstand was built in 1925 and its roof added in 1938.[14] It was demolished in September 1973,[15][16] and the finish line (for most events) was moved to the track's northeast corner for the 1974 season.[17] The new west grandstand, also made of wood with a capacity of 4,300 spectators, was ready for use in March 1975.[18] The Prefontaine Classic originated as the "Hayward Field Restoration Meet" in 1973,[13][19] to help raise funds for a new west grandstand.[20][21][22]

The track was converted to metric in the summer of 1987, its lap length changed from 440 yards (402.336 m) to 400 meters, a reduction of 2.336 m (7.66 ft). The geometry of the track was changed to the international configuration, with shorter straights and longer turns. This widening of the infield required the relocation of the 300-foot (91 m), 500-ton east grandstand, which was raised and moved 35 ft 9.5 in (10.91 m) east in March.[23] The surface was again Pro-Turf, but with different surface properties; a textured top layer and a reddish color.[9] In addition, a 200 m warmup track was added to the southwest of the main track, along with a new hammer throw area and a weight room facility. A state-of-the-art scoreboard was added in 1991, which gave unofficial times and competitors' placings just seconds after race completion.[3]

Spectators watch the 110 m hurdles

After a donation in 1990 by Bill Bowerman (1911–1999),[24] UO's longtime track coach (1948–1973), the 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) Bowerman Building was added to the northwest of the track, housing locker rooms, U of O track memorabilia and the university's International Institute for Sport and Human Performance.[3]

Bowerman began a public jogging program at Hayward Field in 1963 after a visit to New Zealand, inspired by coach Arthur Lydiard.[25]

A major renovation in 2004 added a new entrance named Powell Plaza. It also moved the practice track, expanded it to 400 meters, and replaced the aging fencing bordering the complex. After Eugene was awarded the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, Hayward Field underwent additional renovations in 2007. Eight light poles were installed for televised night events, and the crowned infield was removed and reconfigured. A walkway was added behind the west grandstand, and a new scoreboard was installed, thanks to a donation by alumnus Phil Knight and Nike.[3]

Hayward Field

Hayward Field has hosted USATF championships in 1986, 1993, 1999, 2001, 2009, and 2011, and the Olympic trials in 1972, 1976, 1980, 2008, and 2012. The Olympic trials are scheduled to return in 2016. Hayward has also hosted NCAA championships, USATF Elite Running Circuit events, and annually hosts the Nike Prefontaine Classic.[26]

In Film[edit]

Hayward Field appeared in a fictionalized staging of the Olympic trials for the 1982 film Personal Best, and in the 1998 biography of Steve Prefontaine, Without Limits. It is also in the background of the ROTC drill scene of the 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House.

Notable athletes[edit]

Oregon Ducks who competed at Hayward Field

The start of the 200 m
at the 2006 Prefontaine Classic


  1. ^ "Traditions are time-tested at historic Hayward Field" Denver Post, 27 June 2008
  2. ^ "Kincaid Field". University of Oregon. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Hayward Field". GoDucks.com. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  4. ^ McCann, Michael C. (1995). Oregon Ducks Football: 100 Years of Glory. Eugene, OR: McCann Communications Corp. ISBN 0-9648244-7-7.
  5. ^ "Hayward Field renovation underway with new seats". Eugene Register-Guard. July 31, 1949. p. 10A. 
  6. ^ "New Hayward track construction begins". Eugene Register-Guard. (photo). September 12, 1969. p. 1C. 
  7. ^ a b "Hayward Field track takes on a new look". Eugene Register-Guard. (photo). October 23, 1969. p. 1D. 
  8. ^ Newnham, Blaine (June 15, 1975). "Anatomy of the world's fastest track". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1B. 
  9. ^ a b Kayfes, Dave (July 31, 1987). "Hayward's new 400-meter oval set for pouring". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1B. 
  10. ^ "Hayward Field renovation completion eyed Saturday". Eugene Register-Guard. April 10, 1970. p. 2B. 
  11. ^ "Volunteers repair Hayward Field". Eugene Register-Guard. April 12, 1970. p. 2B. 
  12. ^ Newnham, Blaine (July 12, 1972). "Looking ahead". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1D. 
  13. ^ a b Newnham, Blaine (August 10, 1973). "Still short of the goal". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1D. 
  14. ^ Paseman, Lloyd (February 21, 1973). "Hayward Field rehabilitation recommended by state board". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1D. 
  15. ^ Paseman, Lloyd (August 28, 1973). "Final OK given for grandstands". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1B. 
  16. ^ "Bowerman: Hayward Field answer may be natural look". Eugene Register-Guard. December 11, 1973. p. 3B. 
  17. ^ Conrad, John (March 29, 1974). "A flip-flop at Hayward Field will produce strange finishes". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 2B. 
  18. ^ Conrad, John (March 20, 1975). "Ducks, stands await unveiling". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 2D. 
  19. ^ Conrad, John (June 21, 1973). "Wottle (3:53.3) still king of the milers". Eugene-Register Guard. p. 1B. 
  20. ^ Withers, Bud (June 9, 1974). "Wohlhuter keeps his word: 1:44.1". Eugene-Register Guard. p. 1C. 
  21. ^ Bellamy, Ron (May 25, 1999). "Silver Pre". Eugene-Register Guard. p. 1B. 
  22. ^ Kayfes, Dave (May 29, 1978). "Ins and outs". Eugene-Register Guard. p. 1B. 
  23. ^ Collias, Rob (March 16, 1987). "Hayward grandstand jogs east". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1A. 
  24. ^ Bellamy, Ron (November 17, 1990). "Bowerman to finance complex". Eugene Register-Guard. p. 1B. 
  25. ^ "Jogging for Everyone". Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  26. ^ "Eugene awarded 2008 Olympic Track & Field Trials". USATF. 2005-10-14. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°02′31″N 123°04′16″W / 44.042°N 123.071°W / 44.042; -123.071