The future of Eugene’s Civic Stadium may be decided next month after a five-year campaign to save and rehabilitate the storied property located just south of downtown. Listed as a Most Endangered Place by Restore Oregon in 2011, the Stadium was built by the Works Progress Administration in 1938 and has been owned by the Eugene 4J School District since. Use of the Stadium came to end in 2009, at which time the district began exploring new options for the site. Due to its unique history and the potential threat of demolition, the property was listed on the National Register by Restore Oregon board member Natalie Perrin.
Echoing a similar process in 2011 that resulted in standstill, late last year the school district invited a new batch of proposals for the sale of the 10.2-acre property. According to school board member Jim Torrey, he is “99 percent sure this board will make a decision” this go-around. Three proposals are currently being considered by the school district, with a fourth having been tossed out earlier this month by the proposal review committee (Friends of Civic Stadium submitted a largely symbolic proposal). The three remaining proposals are:
1. Eugene Family YMCA. Demolition of stadium to make way for construction of athletic facility and residential housing.
2. Fred Meyer. Demolition of stadium to make way for construction of a shopping center.
3. City of Eugene. Rehabilitation of stadium for community recreational use.
While updated details on each of the three proposals are still being provided to the school district, the seven-member school board is scheduled to make a decision on February 19. Although demolition of the stadium will cost approximately $400,000, the City of Eugene’s proposal to save the complex will require community leaders to raise $5.5 million for rehabilitation, maintenance, and operation of the property. Currently, the Fred Meyer proposal is preferred by the review committee.
With a ticking clock to raise the funds necessary to propel the City’s proposal, Friends of Civic Stadium has raised $200,000 in escrow account opened just a matter of weeks ago. This Sunday, January 19, the Friends will hold an evening benefit event to raise additional funds in support for the City’s plan. Those interested in advocating for the City’s proposal should email the City Council and the 4J School Board with written testimony in support of rehabilitation and reuse.