Costs could slow Eugene 2021 stadium renovation

Tue Feb 2, 2016 11:10am EST
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By Gene Cherry

(Reuters) - Construction costs may push the renovation of the stadium in Eugene, Oregon that is to host the 2021 world championships beyond a projected 2017 completion date, organizers say.

A decision will be made in the coming months on a timetable for the $50-60 million privately funded Hayward Field project, TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna and Paul Weinhold, president and CEO of the University of Oregon Foundation, told Reuters.

"The feedback we are getting right now is because of some major projects around the state, and certainly on campus, there is a real tight supply of available sub-contractors. It is not true inflation but they are very busy so they charge more," Weinhold said in a telephone interview.

"So we would have to evaluate what it would cost to do the project a year later."

Controversy surrounds the Eugene championships, which were awarded without any competition. Sebastian Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), cut his ties with Nike after claims he faced a conflict of interest due to the sportswear giant's connection to Eugene.

Organizers had hoped to start modernization and expansion of Hayward Field from 10,000 to 30,000 seats in August. Work would substantially be completed prior to the state high school meet in May 2017, then resume in August 2017 with completion in October 2017.

"If anything were to change, that timeline would just move a year," Weinhold said. "Instead of starting in August 2016, it would start in August 2017." Lananna said, "We still have plenty of time to get the facility ready."

He said he still expected some portion of the renovation would start in 2016.   Continued...