When I think about the University of Oregon, a familiar song starts to play in my head. I'm talking about David Bowie's hit, Changes, from his Hunky Dory Album. What does this have to do with the University of Oregon? Well if one takes a good hard look at the campus, then the answer will be revealed.
Autzen Stadium, where Oregon Ducks football games are played, was last renovated/remolded in 2002, the year after Joey Harrington led the Ducks to a 10-1 record, a Fiesta Bowl victory, and a No. 2 ranking at the end of the season. This renovation/remodel raised the capacity of Autzen to around 59,000 (standing room included). Another remodel is not taking place currently, but one thing is being added to the already awe-inspiring venue.
Last year, the Oregon State Beavers renovated Reser Stadium by remodeling the east endzone by connecting it to both sides of the stadium. A new scoreboard was added, noted as the largest scoreboard in the Pac-10, called the "Dam Cam" by Beaver fans.
So what do you think Oregon is doing to Autzen this year? You guessed it, we are putting in a new scoreboard as well; This one will be bigger than Oregon State's. All it needs is a name. This sudden change strikes many as being one of desperation. The Beavers are the Ducks biggest rivals, and if the Beavers have anything nicer than the Ducks, Athletic Director Pat Killkenny calls up Phil Knight, and asks for a check to fix the situation.
Other things are starting to change on the University of Oregon campus. Baseball has been brought back to the University, and Wrestling has been taken away, giving Killkenny a new nickname: Killwrestling. The baseball stadium is being built next to Autzen, cutting down on parking for game days. A good friend of my family has lost their tailgating spot to the construction. Who knows what effect the baseball stadium will have?
Of course, every Oregonian should know about the new McArthur Court, which is currently being built. This arena will be a state of the art, and beautiful rendition of the old historic Mac Court. It's going to be amazing when it's finished.
Plans have also been made to turn Hayward Field into an indoor track facility. I was reading in the Oregonian that the contractors that were hired to build the new Mac Court, have also made plans for Hayward Field as well.
Who knows when that will happen? One thing I can say though, is that once all the projects have been finished, Duck fans will be pleased. Every venue as state of the art, is sure to have recruiting bonuses as well. These moves can have a dramatic effect on the University for years to come.