Demolition begins to make way for new Oregon softball field

EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon Ducks won their way to the college softball worlds series there last weekend.

Now crews have dug out the dugouts as demolition gets under way at Howe Field on the University of Oregon campus.

With the softball team done at home for the season, crews have begun removing the turf for the first steps of the renovation.

"Howe Field is a very antiquated facility," said Tom Shepard with Campus Planning, Design and Construction. "We want to make the most state of the art facility to honor Jane Sanders and give the girl's softball team the best facility possible."

Financing for the new stadium was spurred on by a $10 million gift from Robert Sanders in honor of his late wife.

The couple met at the UO, where Robert, class of 1949, was a fullback on the football team and Jane, class of 1950, was a cheerleader. Robert and Jane Sanders enjoyed great success in the lumber industry, having held businesses in California, Oregon and Washington.

Howe Field was originally built in 1936 as the home of Oregon baseball and was converted to a softball stadium in 1987.

SRG is the architect on the project and Howard S. Wright is the general contractor.

The field will be shifted about 100 feet east, with covered seating for fans.

The plan is to have the work complete in time for the 2016 home opener.