History of Hayward Field

The Track and Field Carnegie Hall

1920 football team
1920 football team

Hayward Field was originally constructed as a football field in 1919. Two years later, the University added a six-lane cinder track, marking the beginning of track and field at the venue. As Hayward Field began to host more prominent events, continuous improvements were necessary to bring the facility up to specifications. In 1970, the venue was designated solely for track and field use, as the football team had moved into the newly constructed Autzen Stadium three years earlier. Hayward Field underwent its last major renovation in the late 1980s when the track was converted from 440-yards to a 400-meter oval.

During its lifetime, Hayward Field has been the site of nine NCAA Championships, three U.S. Olympic Trials, the annual Prefontaine Classic, six National Championships, and numerous other distinguished meets. Today, Hayward Field is transitioning into the next chapter of Oregon’s track and field history by continuing to host high-caliber events, such as the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Men's distance runners
Men's distance runners

From local amateur meets to Pac-10 Championships and USA Master’s competitions, Hayward Field serves as a performance platform for athletes of all ability levels. To this day, Marty Liquori’s famous words describing Hayward Field as the “Carnegie Hall” of track and field venues continue to echo loud and clear.

Hayward Field Timeline

Bill Hayward, 1910
Bill Hayward, 1910

1919 – Original West Grandstand is built. Field is named after UO athlete and coach, Bill Hayward. UO football calls Hayward Field home until 1967.

1921 – Six-lane cinder track installed (approx. $10,000). UO track and field program begins competing at Hayward Field. Previously the team competed at Kincaid Field.

1925 – East Grandstand is completed. Architect: Lawrence & Holford.

1928 Students pay to cover the bleachers on the East North end.

1944 – Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and Olympic tryouts held at Hayward Field.

1962 – NCAA Championships

1964 – NCAA Championships

1970 – Hayward Field is designated solely for track and field use only. The football program moved into the newly constructed Autzen Stadium three years earlier in 1967. The track is widened from six to eight lanes and a weather-proof surface is applied.

1970 – The track is widened from six to eight lanes and a weather-proof surface is applied.

1972 – NCAA Championships

1972 – U.S. Olympic Trials

1975 – A new West Grandstand is completed. The restoration project received substantial support from gifts and a special fundraising track meet in which Steve Prefontaine ran.

1976 – U.S. Olympic Trials

1980 – U.S. Olympic Trials

1984 – NCAA Championships

1988 – Renovations of Hayward Field includes a 400-meter track and updated facilities. East Grandstand is moved thirty feet east to make room for enlarged track.

1988 – NCAA Championships

1991 – NCAA Championships

1991 – A new scoreboard is added.

1992 – Pac-10 Conference Championships

1992 – The Bowerman Family Building is completed.

1993 – U.S.A. National Track and Field Championships

1996 – NCAA Championships

1999 – U.S.A. National Track and Field Championships

2000 – Pac-10 Conference Championships

2001 – U.S.A. National Track and Field Championships

2005 – Powell Plaza is created as new gateway to Hayward Field.

2008 – U.S. Olympic Trials

2009 – U.S.A. National Track and Field Championships.

2010 – NCAA Championships (10th time since 1962)

2011 – U.S.A. Championships

2012 – U.S. Olympic Trials

2013 – NCAA Championships

2014 – NCAA Championships

See more about the details and history of Hayward Field on GoDucks.com

See a full bibliography of resources about Hayward Field here.