The analogy that I use is that Hayward Field was a classic car, all shiny and polished up, with classic lines that you can sit in on a beautiful day and think how great it is. You just kind of ignore that you can't get it over 45 miles per hour and even then you'll probably drop the transmission on the pavement. The new Hayward Field will be more like Formula One.
It comes down to the future of the sport in America. Track & field is a niche sport. Those of us who love it really love it. The rest of the public pays no attention until its the Olympics and might be able to name one track & field athlete, probably Usain Bolt. Do we want to grow this sport into a major sport? Hockey is slowly doing that. NASCAR is fading. If we want to become a major sport, we need venues that offer great spectator experiences. Yeah, the performances at Hayward can be amazing, but it's wood plank seating, totally inadequate restrooms, maybe a concessions stand is open, no parking and limited sightlines in the east grandstand. Beyond simply not ADA compliant. I've seen a ton of older fans struggling to come down from upper rows of the west grandstands without slipping and falling all of the way to the track. Yeah, it's neat to be in the front row and high five the winner on their victory lap. Row M? Well, at least you're under cover. People love old stadiums where they had great memories, the Polo Grounds, Ebbetts Field, the old Yankee Stadium, Candlestick Park. Oh, wait. Nobody like the Stick. All of those venues were for a smaller sport than they are today. We still have to give spectators a better fan experience.
Unsaid in all of this discussion is that the athlete experience at Hayward is nowhere near what it could be. There are no locker rooms. The weight room is below 1980's standards. There is no place for athletes to run inside during the winter months. Only pole vault can train under cover. Appealing to the tradition of Eugene/U of O/Hayward Field doesn't cut cheese with teenagers who think the long term is something that will happen before the end of this season. It's tough to recruit college athletes with poor facilities, especially when you want them to come to a cool to cold climate. This is U of O putting down a marker for recruiting track & field athletes. No one else will have facilities like this.
If you don't think the sport should grow from its niche status, then it's a negative cash flow sport. Somebody has to fund the deficits. And, right now, the funding is coming from Nike and Phil Knight. Billionaires tend to get their way because its their money.