The Save Hayward Magic coalition held a vigil and press conference today, June 19, in Powell Plaza at Hayward Field.
A group of about 10 people stood in front of Hayward’s gates with signs with sayings like, “Keep East Grandstand” and “Respect It. Renovate it. Do NOT destroy it” and wearing T-shirts that read “Stop Phil.”
“I’ve been coming to meets here for not years, but for decades,” Michael Carrigan, coordinator with Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC), said. “This is a sacred spot.”
Carrigan and others in the group spoke about their own favorite stories and memories at Hayward Field, as well as the historic, environmental and community concerns around its demolition.
According to its press release, the group also “rejects the uncovered stadium proposed as a replacement.” Group members said the originally proposed Tinker Hatfield architectural design, which incorporated the East Grandstand, would be a better alternative.
Jim Tice, a professor of architecture at UO, spoke about concerns around parking. Tice said the new facility would need about 2 million square feet of parking to legally account for the stadium’s seating. That’s about 50 acres of parking, Tice said.
Though the UO would get a reduction because of already having other parking available, Tice said, “It would be, at best, 25 acres.”
“What if an event is going on at Matthew Knight Arena at the same time as an event at Hayward?” he asked.
He also said because the UO will be eliminating access to 15th Avenue with the new stadium, that will also eliminate a good chunk of parking already nearby.
As the impending demolition of Hayward Field and its East Grandstand is gearing up, community members are showing they are not ready to go down without a fight.
The coalition ended its vigil by taking their signs to the sidewalk in front of Agate Street, earning a few honks from passing cars.
The Save Hayward Magic Coalition is also meeting with the city forester later today to discuss the trees that are slated to be removed.
“We live in a democracy. Our voices are important,” Carrigan said. “This belongs to all of us here in Eugene.”
“This is Eugene,” Carrigan said. “Not Philville.”