Great read from Austin Meek in Eugene Register Guard that shows what was going on behind the scenes with the infighting surrounding the stadium renovations at Hayward Field.
It got to the point where Phil Knight i May 2017 said "I walk away. I’m not doing this" and that in his mind meant the renovations wouldn't get done and the Worlds wouldn't come to the US.
Article talks about Nike designer Tinker Hatfield getting pushed aside, and Phil's fixer, Howard Slusher, coming back in and the project getting going again. Discussion also on debate whether to keep East Grandstands.
My main takeways:
1) Shows what we suspected all along- Phil Knight was the backstop of this thing. Without his money, there are no Worlds in 2021 in the US. I think technically the financial guarantees for Worlds are guaranteed by the Uof O Foundation but if the stadium isn't built, obviously the Worlds aren't coming here, so those promises don't mean much.
2) This is a public stadium at a public university. The process should be way more open. Phil could easily say publicly "I'm not giving any money unless XYZ are done" but lets have that talk in the open. U of O tried to act like everything was fine, when it was obvious it wasn't.
My main question:
It says cost estimates spiraled from $75 million to $125 million and that was problematic for Phil Knight. What article doesn't say is how Phil now is fine with a project that is supposed to cost $200 million.