4/23/2018: One of a series of op-eds and stories this week showing the disagreements over the $200M proposal to teardown and replace Hayward Field, and the secretive process Nike and UO are using to design and build it:
Bill Bowerman, my dad, contributed a lot to putting Hayward Field and Oregon on the track world’s map and in the heart of this community. In his retirement I asked him what he thought about the trajectory of college athletics. He said that if he had the choice between the trend toward sports professionalism or a low-key club-sport approach, he much preferred intramural athletics where sports fills a secondary role in a university education. My brother Jay affirms this recollection.
As the University of Oregon’s track coach, my dad was well known for developing local talent rather than chasing after world renowned stars. I believe he’d much prefer investing millions of dollars in scholarships for low-income Oregon kids to expanding Hayward Field to accommodate the extremely rare occasion when the stadium might seat 30,000.
… I’ve read an estimate of $200 million for the rebuild, but I suspect this is more than just the grandstand. But if true, that would pay the current annual tuition of 833 Oregon students in perpetuity if treated as a scholarship endowment. Of course this isn’t necessarily a zero sum game — but still, it’s a sobering consideration.
Doubtful, but perhaps it is time to call for our deeper and longer community priorities to rise to the top of decision-making.
Ken Goe in the Oregonian:
Designs for the new Hayward Field, presented yesterday in a ceremony at the track’s northwest corner, had a big wow factor.
It’s the details that were in short supply.
UO president Michael Schill, UO foundation president and CEO Paul Weinhold, and UO associate athletic director Vin Lananna struggled to answer basic questions about the exact number of permanent seats in the new stadium, and how many of the seats would be covered by the transparent roof at the top of the stadium.
It’s hard to see from the renderings how the stadium will more than double its seating capacity from somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000 to 30,000 simply by filling in around the open north end with temporary bleachers.
I’m sure there are answers to these questions. But the people who could provide them weren’t available.
Lead donors Phil and Penny Knight weren’t. Nor was anyone from the architectural firm SRG Partnership. Nor was anyone from Hoffman Construction, set to do the razing and reconstruction. Nor was semi-retired Nike troubleshooter Howard Slusher, the man who reportedly ramrodded the new design.
The process has been secretive from the start and excluded many people who have had a long emotional investment in track and field in this state and at the University of Oregon in particular.
That has led to a backlash from those who have spent a significant portion of their lives watching meets at what has been called historic Hayward Field. …
4/17/2018: UO unveils historic new Hayward Field, with weird fat blunt add-on