EUGENE, Ore. -- Community members and out-of-town visitors gathered outside the northeast gate of Hayward Field on Monday, taking pictures and soaking up what they call the "Hayward Magic" before demolition truly begins.
Aaron Davidson, a high school track and field coach from Kansas City, said he and his wife took a special trip out here just to see Hayward Field the way it currently is.
He said he's on the fence about these changes, but it could be good in the long run.
“I mean, I won’t know any different the next time I come out here, since I never saw a real meet out here -- or, watched a live meet. I have a lot of friends that, you hear their stories and stuff," Davidson said. "This gives people a chance to make some new stories, some new memories, and it could be a good thing.”
But not everyone is happy.
Local Beth Naylor said she has great memories here, and she hates to see this being done to a place with so many stories to tell.
“We don’t even know for sure what the design is, but it will not be the same," Naylor said. "It makes me so sad that it’s being done without real public input, and without respecting the opinions of all of us that love that place.”
A group called East Grandstand Supporters is taking it even farther.
They said they believe the university is violating state statutes by planning to tear down the historic grandstands.
“Our opinion in reading those things is that the permit has been invalidated by today’s work," Bob Penny said. "Because there is no letter of understanding of mitigation standards between the University and SHIPO at this point.”
Penny said he and his group will be looking to take legal action on those grounds.
He said they will be looking for a stay on the demolition and hope to get the east grandstands incorporated, with some renovations, into the new design.