that is impressive! thanks for sharing
It isn’t Hayward Field ($200 million renovation, not recognizable as the same place) but very impressive. Functional and flashy at the same time.
That’s exciting! Hope it enables us to attract the athletes that can add a few NCs to our already impressive total.
What a great facility! Watched the construction via UofA Construction Cams, but the inside video has proved it to be even more impressive. Hopefully it will successfully promote Arkansas & its T&F program.
It looks like Hayward is more focused on the fans experience and the O’Mara Facility is more focused on the athlete. I suspect we have set the bar in the SEC very high, but nationally, we are one of several schools competing for that top spot. Go Hogs. Very proud of our new facility.
Since it was built largely during the pandemic (I guess), I was shocked to drive down Razorback Road about three or four months ago and see it right next to Bud Walton. I didn’t go to any Hog games during the pandemic until finally making it to Baum-Walker for a few games this spring. It felt like it just popped up out of nowhere.
If there’s any program on campus that truly deserves a nice facility, it’s the track program. I wish McDonnell could have seen it.
I think Hayward was built for big meets like the Olympic Trials, which will probably remain in Eugene for the foreseeable future. And I’m sure it impresses hell out of their recruits. But so will the O’Mara Center for ours.
Work on the O’Mara Center essentially began at the same time as work on the Hunt Center at the baseball stadium. Both took a little more than a year to complete.
At some point, the indoor track is going to get a major overhaul. John Tyson’s family made a $6 million lead gift toward that project, which is expected to cost between $15 million and $20 million — about twice as much as was spent to build the O’Mara Center. There have been some upgrades inside already, but the big change will be the reconfiguration of the seating. I wrote this about the change a few years ago:
As part of the proposal, the east wall of the facility would be knocked down and rebuilt to expand the size of the building. Seats, which currently sit in a square configuration around the oval track, would be reinstalled to wrap around the track, and a new concourse would be built toward the top of the facility so that spectators would walk down to their seats instead of up bleachers.
The renovation also would include new club-seating areas, and additional bathrooms and concession stands for fans, and a new press box on the south side. For athletes, on-site locker rooms would be built underneath the elevated seating, eliminating the need for athletes to be in uniform when they arrive to the facility.
“Our vision is to not have square seating and create better sight lines,” Arkansas men’s track & field coach Chris Bucknam said in September. “We believe we have one of the fastest tracks in the world … but we would like to improve the fan experience.”
Just love all those hogs!
Along with the facility, we need to hire the assistant coaches that attract recruits. There is a reason sprinters go to LSU and A&M. Facilities alone won’t get it done.
Matt Trantham is good at what he does for the Athletic Department. He is basically the construction Project manager on all facility upgrades and new construction.
Freaking awesome- thanks for posting and sharing Baumbastic!
I’m looking forward to seeing the facility in person!
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