Hayward Field finally reopens

Three years and $200 million later, Oregon has the top track and field stadium in the World

Cliff Pfenning
April 9, 2021

After two years of remodeling and delays due to COVID-19, Hayward Field’s long-awaited reopening finally happened. The newly renovated $200 million stadium reopened to track and field competition for the first time as Oregon hosted the Hayward Premiere meet in Eugene April 2.

“Plush. Luxury. Welcome to the five-star resort at Hayward Field,” head coach Robert Johnson told invited media members in attendance.

The first true track and field venue in the United States, the stadium was designed for the athletes and sports fans alike - unparalleled indoor and outdoor training facilities, research areas, rehab rooms and even a barber shop all located underneath the seats - provide student-athletes within the Oregon program with everything imaginable.

Unlike other stadiums that were created for multifunctionality such as football, Hayward is the first of its kind to simply cater to track and field meets.

Not only will it play host to the U.S. Olympic Trials this summer, but the 2022 World Championships as well.

It is set to be the first time the United States hosts the outdoor World Championships.

Oregon hosted the 2016 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Portland, less than two hours away from Eugene by car, while Hayward Field was the site of the 2014 World Junior Championships.

Cole Hocker, the new National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) indoor champion in the mile and 3,000 metres, set a new personal best in the 1500m at the meet in a time of 3min 38.99sec.

Hocker is one of the rising stars in US middle-distance running.

Later this month the USA Track and Field Grand Prix is set to take place in Eugene, the first Continental Tour Gold meeting to be held in the US.

The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the US Olympic Trials are scheduled to be held at Hayward Field in June, while the Prefontaine Classic - an elite meeting which is part of the Diamond League season - is set for August.

Cliff Pfenning

Cliff is the publisher of Oregonsports.com, and has decades of experience in writing, photography, videography and graphic design. He's been a sportswriter in Oregon for more than three decades and has even taught sports broadcasting in Portland. He lives in North Portland in a house built in 1912 that has a backyard deck easily turned into a 'Top Golf' set-up for wiffle golf balls ... and cornhole.