Almost Ready

Robert Johnson

Almost Ready To
Welcome You Back
By Robert Johnson
June 29, 2020

Track and Field fans in Eugene and around the world,
I write to you today during one of the most unprecedented times in our history. I have found myself in deep reflection on how we can come together as a nation to love and support each other. Through all of this unrest, we have hope in the future and the opportunities that will inevitably come.
I've been so impressed with our student-athletes and how they have responded to adversity over the last few months. From adjusting to a new virtual academic environment and social distancing to using their voices to speak out on social injustices, I have been very proud.
The past few months have been challenging to say the least, and our attention and thoughts have been pulled in so many directions lately, but I did want to provide a bit of an update on Hayward Field.
It is almost ready to welcome you back!
The flags of 156 nations found their place next to the stadium representing every country that had a senior-level athlete compete at Historic Hayward Field between 1921 and 2018. Also, responsibility for the stadium has been handed over from the construction team to the University of Oregon and the UO Track and Field team.
But before we can open the gates to you, we've got a couple of hurdles to clear.
First things first. Our athletes deserve to have their 'Christmas morning' moment before everyone else gets to see how magnificent their training areas and team facilities are. After all, the team has been without a home for two years, and at this point, a majority of the athletes have never experienced the Hayward Magic competing as a Duck. My staff and I are truly looking forward to the team opening this incredible gift when they arrive on campus in September.
As you've probably seen through social media, we've been able to reveal and share the public spaces inside the bowl of the stadium. Still, there are areas we want to reserve for our athletes when we finally get to welcome them back to Hayward Field.
Last week, we were able to have a special Hayward moment with Ashton and Brianne along with their son Ander and Ashton's mom, Roz. It was a chance to have a smaller group together and celebrate what they have meant to this program. We hope to create similar moments with other Oregon Track and Field icons.
We also eagerly await the time when Governor Brown and state health officials are able to relax restrictions on large gatherings, which are currently in place through September. If circumstances allow for opening the stadium to you in the fall, rest assured, we will do so but we have to make sure it is a safe and healthy experience for everyone.
In the meantime, there will still be lots of construction activity going on and the construction fencing will remain in place. Punch lists will be completed and equipment will be moved in.
I encourage you to follow our social media channels and regularly check in on the Hayward Field page on the University's website. We will do our best to keep you updated of any new developments over the course of the summer and, ultimately, our plans for welcoming you all to Hayward Field.
Thank you, Hayward faithful. Can't wait to see you!