Historic SJSU Track Field Slated to Become a Parking Garage

San Jose State University will tear down a famed outdoor track and replace with a parking garage, a decision prompting outrage from sports fans and alumni.

“To take that hallowed ground and pave it over, you are committing a sacrilege,” former sprinter Kirk Clayton told the Mercury News.

As it stands, Bud Winter Field, the historic track on SJSU’s South Campus, has fallen into disrepair since it’s heyday in the late 60s.

The university had originally wanted to build revive the track and build new facilities for the school’s recently reinstated track and field team. But the university couldn’t find the funds necessary to revive it. Instead, SJSU will turn the site into a parking garage along with a $2.5 million multi-purpose field that anyone in the community can use along.

The university envisions students, athletes and fans will use the four-story parking structure to attend sporting events nearby.

San Jose State had what was considered one of the best track and field teams in the country, earning it the nickname “Speed City.” The university produced legendary athletes such as Tommie Smith, Lee Evans, and John Carlos, who went on to medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

“They are trying to dispose our history with the school. I’m sure down the line they are going to try to pull our statue down too. It’s wrong. And it’s been wrong, how they’ve treated our history for some time,” Carlos told The Nation.

Charlie Faas, SJSU’s vice president of administration and finance, told The Mercury News that the university is in dire need of new parking, saying that students regularly drive around for 30 minutes trying to find a space.

The new parking structure, Faas added, will have signs honoring the Speed City athletes.

SJSU did not immediately respond to request for comment.


  1. Bud Winter Field should be preserved as a place of “Historic” significance to the City of San Jose. Also, it is a place to get some exercise and stay healthy. Restoration of the track should be less than pocket change for the Google folks but I don’t know if SJSU has even asked them. As to the need for parking for students-screw them-make them walk from South County if need be.

    Before I was injured, I used to run several miles a week at Bud Winter Field, dodging the golf-balls from the golfers who practiced there. I found my first pair of Vuarnet sunglasses (the ones they don’t make anymore with the “wrap around ear pieces” so they don’t fall off) laying in the field where the golfers would practice. I still have them today.

    San Jose State University has made its’ share of mistakes (like admitting and graduating me) but, turning Bud Winter Field into a parking lot is an abomination. The City of San Jose should tell SJSU to “pass the baton” to them and restore Bud Winter Field for generations to use and to preserve the Olympic and Black American-History enshrined there.
    David S. Wall

    • Since 1990, SJSU has declined. A college president was hired and quit after two weeks. A 150th anniversary was organized by a loser who was later fired by the Chancellor’s Office. A small rose garden memorialuzing the teachers who died in World War One was almost bulldozed by Vice President Verill Phillips who claimed no one from the Normal School fought in the war. One student body president was arrested for stealing 4.000 dollars in student body funds. Joe Trippi, nationally known political pundit has never been awarded an honorary degree. A majority of the civil rights protesters from San Jose State were track and field stars. Phillips even said when approached about preserving the field, “track is no longer am international sport.”

  2. This is the same university who refuses to get National Landmark status for Tower Hall and supported a student government official paying himself 200k a year and serving booze to minors
    Boy. Lori Loughlin should have sent her kids there.

  3. How about we put a plaque near Charlie Faas’ office, here is the office of the nationalist seeking to bulldoze the field where SJSU student athletes first began to set records in track and become icons of the Civil Rights Movement
    Faas will be Trumps new idol

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