U of Oregon runs through design tweaks for new Hayward Field

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon has announced changes to the design of the new Hayward Field, as well as a new name for the defining nine-story tower that will overlook the venue.

On the stadium's north side, the concrete bowl for lower-level seats that previously wrapped around the full field will be brought down to ground level, The Register-Guard reported Wednesday. The move eliminates 400 permanent seats, leaving the new capacity at 12,500, but it will replicate some of the open feel of the old stadium that was recently demolished.

The change also means people walking outside will be able to see into the venue. For big events, temporary seating will be installed in the open section, expanding the stadium's capacity to 30,000, as required for the 2021 World Track & Field Championships.

Meanwhile, the large tower overlooking the field will be relocated to the east-side stands. It will now be called the Oregon Tower because sons of legendary track coach Bill Bowerman — critics of the stadium design — objected to it being named after him.

Construction of the privately funded stadium is being led by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. As a result, university officials didn't have input on the latest round of design changes, said Tobin Klinger, a university spokesman.

"We work with the team that's leading the development," Klinger said. "They've made changes that I would describe as shifting elements around, not significant changes."

In addition to enhancing the stadium's openness, the moves will help "manage costs and increase functionality," Klinger said.

In other design tweaks, a water feature along the stadium's north side has been eliminated and a new Hayward Field museum will now be located under the east side of the venue.

Construction of the new Hayward Field is expected to be finished in 2020.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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