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East Grandstand's Swansong Is Sound Of Splintering Beams As Excavators Go To Work

After 93 years, the East Grandstand of Hayward Field is coming down. Early this morning, excavators began clawing and battering the facility into oblivion. KLCC’s Brian Bull was there, and has this report.

The East Grandstand is going away, as part of a $200 million makeover of the University of Oregon’s track and field facility. Small groups of protesters have decried the decision, arguing the site has too much history to be demolished.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Doug Seinmann of Eugene and a Ducks booster, says he's ready to for the new stadium.

Among those watching this morning was Doug Seinmann. Clad in green and gold Ducks gear, the senior citizen was smiling big next to signs that said, THANK YOU PHIL and JUST DO IT PHIL…a reference to U of O alum Phil Knight, who co-founded Nike and is a major donor towards the new renovations.

“Y’know, I hate to see the old go sometimes myself, but it’s providing jobs, it’ll be for the future track meets, it’ll be real nice, so…it’s the way it is,” says the 69-year-old local.

Sections of the East Grandstand and Hayward Field sign were salvaged before demolition. They’ll either be repurposed in the new facility or part of a stadium museum.

WEB EXTRA: Watch a YouTube video playlist showing this morning's demolition:

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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