Eugene, Ore. -- A month ago, Oregon track coach Robert Johnson walked into his new stadium home for the first time, and his reaction then was a lot like the media's reaction on Tuesday.
"To be able to walk through the site and see the size and the space like that...140 meters straight that Todd talked about is phenomenal," says Johnston. "It's way bigger than I thought and it looks like more than the 140 meters."
Lead designer Todd Van Horne and Johnson gave members a presentation on the stadium itself, while also providing some facts and figures. Van Horne didn't have the exact dollar amount for the construction but said that they've been coming in on budget. They also feel confident the stadium will be ready by 2020 Pac-12 Championships.
"Cross your fingers for good weather," says Van Horne. "But in construction is obviously difficult sometimes, you've seen the time lapse video. But that's what everyone is shooting for and is confident it'll be done in time."
While there was some trepidation about replacing the old Hayward with the new, Johnson contends that some of what made old Hayward great will live on in the new stadium.
"One of the things that (former Oregon track and field coach) Vin [Lananna] taught me when he was here is that we're very inclusive and nothing will chang," Johnson tells reporters. "And that was passed down from [Bill] Bowerman and [Bill] Dellinger on. So those 12:00 practices that the community comes in and runs on the track, those will still happen."
And the thought is, the next 100 years of Oregon track will be represented by this Olympic level venue.
"When you get in here you start to feel the environment a little bit more that I was trying to describe a bit more," Van Horne explains with a smile. "You can see the heroic nature of the architecture but also th intimacy of it."
Come the spring, fans will have their opportunity to see it for themselves.