Foundations for Activity
The need for athletic facilities and fields arose as the University began dabbling in sports in the late 1870s. In 1881, the University remodeled and converted an auditorium on campus into the first gymnasium. Men and women students used the gym at separate hours. The original setting for track and field and football was a makeshift field near Deady and Villard Halls. A new men’s gymnasium was built in 1889. Women student-athletes used both facilities minimally until 1909 when a third men’s gym was constructed allowing women to use the old building full-time.
As sports competitions gained popularity in the early 1900s, so did the need for better playing areas. Construction of a new football field, Kincaid Field, began in 1915, putting football at the forefront of Oregon sports. Four years later, in 1919, the University built Hayward Field. Originally intended solely as a football field, a six-lane track was added in 1921, marking the beginning of the Hayward track and field tradition.