‘Historic Hayward’ preserved in Eugene community

Sports

What wasn't usable went back to the community

Eugene, Ore. (KOIN) — Hayward Field is one of the most iconic track and field venues in American history and when the decision was made to renovate it, preserving that history was paramount.

Many pieces went back into the newly renovated Hayward Field, with an entire museum dedicated to telling the story of its history in the form of Hayward Hall underneath the grandstands.

But the University of Oregon wanted to ensure what wasn’t usable there went back to the community, so they requested proposals from those who wanted some of the salvaged material.

There were 18 proposals that met the criteria, including the Eugene Marathon and KidSports, a nonprofit dedicated to youth sports programs.

Marathon and half marathon finishers this year received medals made of the old stairboards from Historic Hayward’s east grandstand. The medals are a to-scale replica of the steps they were made of, down to color-matching the yellow to what was on the stairs.

“I went to this scrapyard where all this material was with my pick-up truck and a chainsaw and we just got a bunch of the stuff,” said Eugene Marathon Race Director Ian Dobson. “It was really special to go through that process and I mean touch every beam and stairwell and everything that we were using.”

Katy Polansky, who’s on the Board Of Directors for KidSports, designed and built clocks and benches out of the material they received from historic Hayward that are available for purchase. The proceeds will go towards providing scholarships for kids who want to participate in KidSports programs, with the goal to ‘fund free,’ according to Executive Director and Oregon women’s basketball legend Bev Smith.

“We would like to fund free for kids while they’re getting back on their feet and families while they’re getting back on their feet from this whole year of COVID,” said Smith.

“A lot of people were… disappointed that we got rid of Hayward Field, that East Grandstand… but you know what’s rising out of that is just greater opportunities for children,” Smith continued.

To find out more about the materials and where they went, click here.

hayward field university of oregon
Competitors round a turn during the men’s 10,000 meters at Hayward Field duirng the U.S. track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, June 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

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