Community responds to Hayward Field renovation delays

Hotels, restaurants and bars have been preparing for an influx in tourism during these months due to the many events that were scheduled to take place.

Posted: May 17, 2020 7:17 PM
Updated: May 18, 2020 10:52 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Construction on Hayward Field has been ongoing for two years now. This $200 million project was expected to be finished by spring of 2020, but that is no longer the case.

RELATED: HAYWARD CONSTRUCTION STILL ON; WORKERS URGED TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING

“We wish we were able to open it up for the Pac-12 Championship and show the world the greatest track venue in the world, but we don't have a date as to when we are able to do that,” Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens said.

This comes as a loss for not only track and field fans across the country but also for businesses who were relying on events to bring in the cash.

Mark Fischer is the owner of Sy’s Pizza and has lived in Eugene for 32 years.

“I’m just kind of bummed, you know?” Fischer said. “It’s like they’ve built this spectacular stadium, and we’re not sure when it’s going to be used. Obviously with the things that were going to go on this year, the Olympic Trials and Pac-12 Championship -- it brings in a lot of tourism dollars. As a restaurant owner, we appreciate that."

RELATED: DELAY OF OLYMPIC TRIALS HAS BIG IMPACT ON ECONOMY, ATHLETES.

The pandemic has put a halt on many plans, and it is still unclear as to when the finished product will be revealed.

“I have seats -- reserved seats -- for the track and field season eventually and for the Olympic Trials, and they are certainly worth waiting for,” said Fran Munkenbeck, a Eugene resident. “It’s fun to go by and see it being built every day, and as you see the seats are there now.”

Munkenbeck said that she is looking forward to the day when fans from near and far are able to gather to support the athletes.

“I think a lot of people will be very happy and excited,” Munkenbeck said. “I mean, there’s a lot of people, at least in this community immediately, that really love to come to TrackTown.”

The new stadium is set to contain 12,500 seats with up to 30,000 temporary seating.

The U.S. Olympics Trials have been postponed until June 18-27, 2021.

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