Oregon to keep NCAA track finals
EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon will host the NCAA outdoor track and field championships at Hayward Field through 2021.
The agreement with the NCAA announced Wednesday runs from 2015 to 2021. Oregon also will host the event next year.
Hayward Field has hosted the NCAA outdoor championships 11 times, including the 2013 event in June.
"We are excited that Hayward Field will remain the dream destination for every Division I athlete and we plan to turn the NCAA Championships into the hottest ticket in the sport," said Vin Lananna, associate athletic director at Oregon and TrackTownUSA president, in a statement Wednesday. "It took a remarkable partnership of entities from not only from the Eugene-Springfield community, but the entire State of Oregon to make this commitment to the sport of track and field."
Hayward Field has a storied history. It is where Olympian Steve Prefontaine became a star, and legendary coach Bill Bowerman led the "Men of Oregon" and developed the waffle-soled running shoes that would become the foundation of Nike. The field's stands can be seen in the background when Flounder is caught wearing a pledge pin on his uniform in "Animal House."
The track, named after longtime Oregon track coach Bill Hayward, opened in 1919 and originally was home to the Ducks' football team. The facility got $8 million in renovations in 2008.
Hayward Field also hosted the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008 and 2012 and will be the site for the 2016 trials in advance of the Rio Games. The 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships will be held in Eugene next summer.
"Student-athletes, coaches and fans of collegiate sport thrive when venues deliver an outstanding championship atmosphere," said Sam Seemes, CEO of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. "As hosts, Oregon has consistently proven to have the commitment and execution necessary to bring our sport to life, providing experiences that are currently one-of-a-kind."
The NCAA awarded 82 of its 89 championships for the 2014-18 seasons to 523 sites, the largest host site announcement in the organization's history. The track and field championship was the only site announced that extended beyond 2018.