As everyone knows, Eugene's historic Hayward field will be hosting Worlds in 2021. Major changes need to be made to the stadium as Hayward isn't currently large enough to host worlds.
What ideas do you have for how Hayward can be improved? Please post them below.
We got the idea to start this thread as we received an email from a UK visitor, who visited Hayward in 2014 for World Juniors and has has some concrete ideas for how Hayward should be improved for Worlds. They appear below.
The views below come from "anon" or "gbcm" who has been following athletics since 1958 and involved as an athlete since 1967. He became an endurance coach at end of his running career and has spent many holidays watching major champs. He enjoyed Eugene 2014 very much and is looking forward to Portland 2016. He's interested in what others feel is necessary to turn Hayward's Field into a venue that would be fit to stage a world championship event.
Personal Reflections on 2014 World Juniors and the Need for Changes to Hayward’s Field Before the World Champs are Staged in 2021
Having just watched the USATF Champs in the UK I am writing this to see what others think is required to bring HF up to the required standard to host the WCs in 2021. I am sure those responsible for attracting the WCs already have an idea and the money to improve the facility but I would be interested to know what regular fans think needs to be done given that it lies in the middle of the university. I have followed the sport since Cardiff 1958 watching on our first TV, and attended Internationals/ Domestic Champs since 1969 with my first major games at Munich in 1972. Although I have been involved in endurance since 1967 and I read Let’s Run regularly I do appreciate all events, including field events especially at Major Champs. Some of greatest competitions I have enjoyed have been field events such as the Hammer at Stuttgart 1986 or Athens 1997 or that one night in Munich with track events finished and Pole Vault at one end and Pentathlon High Jump at the other. When I travel to watch major games, I like to watch nearly everything (though the walks…). I plan to be in Portland in 2016 and Eugene in 2021 so what will HF look like then? What needs to be done to make it suitable to hold the Worlds but yet go back to being a university stadium? I set out my thoughts below but what is your opinion?
I had a great time in Eugene for the World Juniors in 2014. Hayward’s Field is a compact arena, with no runways outside the track. This creates a great atmosphere as the spectators are much closer to the action as they were in Barcelona 2010 and Helsinki 2005. Run ups inside the track are not allowed in the UK for safety reasons and consequently the spectators are some distance from the action: whether this affects the atmosphere or allows for a better perspective is for another discussion. However the set up of the field events in HF is a total shambles. I can understand the positioning of the PV to take advantage of a prevailing wind, but that, coupled with the weird Discus cage half way down the field, the two Shot sectors intruding into the throwing arc for the only Javelin run up results in a very restricted choice for both spectators and athletes. Most of the field action is at the end of the arena closer to the start/ finish with no chance to throw or jump at the opposite empty end of the arena where very little takes place. There is little space for spectators at that end of the stadium anyway. The result of this in 2014 and 2015 was the absolute disgrace of the Hammer events being held in a cowpat field next to the stadium (possibly not where Bill Nieder did the shot putt many years ago), with only a few family and coaches being able to see those events. I would suggest that the spectators in HF would have enjoyed watching both these very high quality field events enormously and also that the Hammer throwers would have liked to have been treated as equal to all the other athletes who were able to perform before a much larger audience. To rectify this and the other problems noted above, HF must be changed and hopefully improved.
My own radical (but I am not paying for it) and perhaps heretical view, is that the simplest solution in the long term is to move the track 10 to 20 metres towards the scoreboard (which would have to be repositioned). At the water jump end of the stadium there would then be space to erect a temporary large stand around the entire bend; the same for the other bend. Both grandstands could thus be lengthened and possibly extended higher. However HF would then be a venue with a slightly larger number of permanent seats, so that for the smaller competitions, athletes would not be competing in front of thousands of empty seats. It would gain the flexibility to stage some meetings with a much larger number of spectators. One inevitable downside of this would be that HF would be unable to stage meetings for one year, but the development would have the potential to attract much larger crowds for its bigger meetings after the changes. A modern stadium might also like to invest in individual seats rather than benches, allowing spectators to leave their comfy padded seat gadgets at home.
Thus the final picture would look something like Barcelona with two arcs either end of a green rectangle of grass. Each arc would be able to stage two High Jumps and two Pole Vaults on double ended run ups simultaneously: two Shot Putts onto grass could be held at each end. A combined Discus/ Hammer cage would be sited at the 1500m start and a back up one at the 200m start; the Javelin could be thrown centrally from each arc and the water jump could be resited. I have lost count of the times I have seen Discus or Hammer land very close to or even on! a run up or a presentation stand situated near to the finishing straight in compact stadia and so I would place the two double ended long jump run ups on the back straight. The Bowerman statue would have to be moved; but would such radical changes as suggested above be what is needed for a long term permanent solution for 2021 and beyond? Perhaps the cheapest solution is to simply reposition the field events and cram as many temporary seats in to reach the minimum required. As you and I are not paying for it, what would you like to see for what is in effect America’s Track and Field National Stadium?