Salvage keeps the memory of Historic Hayward Field alive

Seats from Historic Hayward Field

Elements of Historic Hayward Field will live on in medals, signs, benches and other creative works fashioned from wood, metal and other materials from the legendary stadium, after a committee of community leaders allocated items to 18 groups or individuals.

In 2018, crews began construction on Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, a world-class facility for track and field. The reconstructed venue celebrates its storied past throughout, with murals, graphics and dynamic storytelling displays, some of which use materials repurposed from the original stadium.

Salvaged materials not used in the new stadium were made available through a community applications process.

“For generations, Historic Hayward Field inspired greatness,” said Carlyn Schreck, University of Oregon assistant vice president of presidential initiatives, who led the process. “We received amazing proposals that promise to honor the essence of Historic Hayward Field, paying tribute to the amazing legacy of the historic facility.”

Among the 18 groups or individuals receiving salvaged materials are TrackTown USA; Kidsports; the Obie Companies, developers of the new Eugene Market District; and the Oregon Track Club and Eugene Airport, which collaborated on a proposal for a display near baggage claim.

TrackTown USA plans to inlay pieces of wood into medals for top finishers at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, slated for June. In addition, they plan to use salvaged elements to create commemorative gifts for athletes, partners and fans. They also propose building benches that could be used for events at Hayward Field.

Kidsports plans to use stair treads from the east grandstand as well as seats from the president’s box to create benches or chairs in its new facility at Civic Park. Custom and stock projects will also be created by local artisans for fundraising efforts for the organization through an Etsy shop named HaywardFieldRevival.

“I’m honored to lead an effort to use the remnants of a building that meant so much to me personally for the benefit of an organization that serves so many in our community,” said Katy Polansky Garney, a member of Kidsports board of directors. “I can see no greater use for this storied sports history than allowing it to continue through Kidsports mission of letting all kids play.”

As part of the Market District expansion to the Fifth Street Public Market, the Obie Companies plan to repurpose wood from cabinet and stair boards to create benches, each one showcasing the materials comprising that particular piece, to be displayed and used as functional art throughout their new facility. Green directional signs, once positioned in Powell Plaza, will be reconditioned and placed near the Nike store, giving a nod to the deep historical connection between the city and the UO and its role in global track and field. Designers also plan to make use of barbells and weight plates from Historic Hayward Field.

The Oregon Track Club and the Eugene Airport plan to collaborate on a hands-on display to be placed near baggage claim to highlight the history and future of Hayward Field by encouraging visitors to feel spike marks in stair treads, sit in original seats and read old interior signs specifically for athletes.

To ensure community needs were met, there was not an opportunity for individuals to buy or take mementos. Recipients are listed on the Hayward Field  website.