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Hayward Field renovation expected to triple seating at facility

EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon is getting ready for a major renovation of its historic Hayward Field. It's a plan that would nearly triple seating at the facility.

A committee of the UO Board of Trustees will meet Thursday to authorize University President Michael Schill to sign a new agreement. It would allow the nonprofit UO Foundation to manage the expansion of the epicenter for Track and Field.

"And so to have a world-class facility that honors what Hayward Field has been to the community and will continue to be the community, but be ready for the future is very exciting for us," said Samara Phelps from Eugene Cascades & Coast.

Hayward Field is set to host major track and field events over the next six years and that's fueling the new plan.

"This place is known around the world by athletes by spectators as the dream destination for track and field," said Michael Reilly, CEO of TrackTown USA.

TrackTown USA Vin Lananna was out of town Friday but said in a written statement, "With Tinker Hatfield's magnificent design vision, Hayward Field is sure to set a new standard as the home for athletes from across the world."

In the new project, the western grandstands at Hayward would be replaced and seating would rise to 30,000.

A new Bill Bowerman Sports Science Center is also in the plan. It's a research and athletes' center that's three times as big as the existing footprint. All this will happen in time for future U.S. Olympic trials and the 2021 World Outdoor Championships.

Officials said the project should be done by June 2017. The UO Foundation said the renovations will be paid for by private donations. The coast of the project is yet to be determined.

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