Hayward Field

A theater for track & field

Hayward Field Draft Hero

Client
University Of Oregon
Location
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Status
Completed

Envisioned as the "finest track and field facility in the world," the reimagined Hayward Field offers University of Oregon athletes and global competitors an unparalleled stage to push the limits of performance. This "theater for track" sets a new standard for fan experience with comfortable seating, diverse in-stadium food and beverage options, excellent sight lines, and close proximity to the action, ensuring an immersive and engaging environment for every spectator.

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University Of Oregon Hayward Field 197

The legacy

Hayward Field is a historic place, even “magic” to all of Track & Field’s faithful across the world. To Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike Inc. and former middle-distance runner for the Ducks, “this is where it all began.” It was here the great Bill Bowerman, Mr. Knight’s mentor and co-founder of Nike, coached monumental athletes like Steve Prefontaine. While this history of greatness still feeds the University of Oregon’s bold, rebel-like brand today, the school’s athletics programs have always been driven by innovation and new ideas. The redesigned Hayward Field builds on this legacy by both acknowledging the past while providing a bold vision for the future and the magic yet to come.

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The athlete’s experience

The reimagined Hayward Field offers world-class facilities for UO’s track and field athletes to train, develop, and perform at their best. Every aspect, from the public concourses with track surfacing to the vertical stairs of Hayward Tower, is designed for athletic use. Beneath the stadium, nearly 40,000 sq ft is dedicated to training and recovery, featuring amenities such as an indoor practice area, a team auditorium, locker rooms, weight training facilities, sports medicine and recovery areas, hydrotherapy, anti-gravity treadmills, a nutrition station, and even a barber shop.

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University Of Oregon Hayward Field
Hayward Tower

Spectator connection and experience

In addition to the athlete’s experience, the fan experience was paramount to the design. Open sight lines for all and the proximity of the spectators to the athletes — with the first row of seats on the new nine-lane track level — creates a unique intimacy between athletes and fans. The enhanced acoustics of the stadium help build anticipation and amplify the action, creating an immersive sensory experience. Throughout the stadium all seating is a spacious 22-inches wide, with a generous 44-inch tread depth for optimum fan comfort. Making the stadium unique as a Track and Field only venue, the seating bowl is asymmetrical to pack the most fans near the finish line of competition. Unlike typical suites that are in lofty boxes above the stands, Hayward’s premium suites are open and close to the field, directly connecting fans to the action.

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University Of Oregon Hayward Field 137

A connection to history

While track and field competition brings fans to Hayward Field, there is more to experience than just sporting events. Designed in collaboration with Gallagher, an 8,600-sf museum dedicated to the history of Oregon Track & Field tells the story of Bill Bowerman and the birthplace of Nike. Inspirational graphics and monuments highlight former Duck athletes and elements of the iconic Oregon brand. For example, metal mesh under the seating bowl features original sketches from Bowerman, and his statue sits outside the museum, allowing him to “see” the athletes.

Salvaged plaques dedicated to Bowerman are located throughout the newly designed 15th Avenue promenade and at the gateway threshold from the plaza to the site. To commemorate the nations of athletes who have competed at Hayward, 156 flags line the perimeter of the south side of the stadium. These elements celebrate the people, stories, and legacy that make Oregon Track & Field iconic, providing inspiration for young, aspiring student-athletes.

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Hayward Field Images 23

The significance of wood

When first conceptualizing the new Hayward Field, the design team came across the quote, “Oregon is Wood and Wood is Oregon,” by Bill Bowerman, inspiring the heroic wood canopy structure and other wood elements throughout the stadium. The soaring canopy structure, or “bents,” surrounding the stadium are a powerful connection to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, this heroic scale structure is a physical representation of the most important aspect of the University of Oregon brand — innovation. Paired with the light, airy, translucent ETFE canopy roof, this environment enhances acoustics and provides rain protection and shade for the fans below.

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The field's canopy was built using glue-laminated wood that rises from the seating in slightly curved arches, which are a nod to the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
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The wooden arches support the ethylene tetrafluoroethylene canopy, which provides shade while not creating shadows on the field that are too severe.

Hayward Field sets a new standard for fan experiences and connection to the sport.

Hayward Field
The shape and material of the canopy also have acoustic properties that amplify the sounds from the stands.