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Construction creates Hayward Field with an open-air wood roof to represent the history and culture of Oregon’s forests. (Kimberly Harris/Emerald)

Construction team members put up 156 flags near Hayward Field — representing the countries of athletes that have competed at the stadium — on Thursday. The flag poles stretch along Agate Street to 18th Avenue and along the pathway between Jane Sanders Stadium and the track warm-up area.

“The flags of 156 countries signify the number of nations represented in senior-level competition at Hayward Field,” Zach Lawson, assistant director of athletic communications at the UO athletics department, said. The 156 countries, including the U.S., represent athletes that have competed at Hayward Field through 2018, prior to construction, according to Lawson. 

The flags “are among the finishing touches as construction continues this summer,” Lawson said.

The process of striping the track, another finishing touch, has also begun at Hayward Field. Numbers for the track’s nine lanes will be added next, as well as relay lines and hurdle marks, according to UO’s Hayward Field website. David Wilkins of Benyon Sports Surfaces has been striping the track with the help of stretched strings and a close attention to detail, according to the website.

Construction of the new Hayward Field began during the summer of 2018. Initial planning called for construction to be completed prior to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track and Field, which were set to take place in June of this year.

The Olympic Trials will now be held from June 18-27 in 2021, decided after the Olympics and Olympic Trial events were postponed due to COVID-19. 

With its updated capacity of 12,650, expandable to almost 25,000, Hayward Field will also host the World Athletics Championships in July of 2022, another event postponed due to the pandemic. 

Hayward Field will become the first stadium in the U.S. to ever host this event.