EUGENE, Ore. — The future of historic Civic Stadium is now in the hands of the city of Eugene. Every single member of the 4J School Board said this was a very difficult decision to make. But in the end, the city’s offer would bring money to the district the quickest, which is why six of the seven board members voted in favor of the city’s offer.
The board said the city’s offer had the least financial risks and would benefit the community. The Eugene YMCA and Fred Meyer were the other two players in the running to acquire the stadium.
Another key part of the discussion was preserving the historic ballpark. Eugene City Councilor George Brown said this is a move in the right direction, but there’s still more work to be done to finalize the sale.
“The really hard work starts now raising that $3 million for the rehabilitation of the property,” said Brown.
“I really do think it is possible that this is a great opportunity for making our city stronger,” said Jennifer Gellar, 4J School Board member.
With this approval the city now has nine months to come up with a concrete plan for the stadium’s future.
Brown said he’s hopeful they’ll find financial backers during that time. The school board said it’s hopeful they’ll find financial backers during those nine months.
And even though Fred Meyer didn’t get the board’s vote, it’s still hopeful to expand in South Eugene. Its offer included building a boutique style store and housing, and would’ve brought in $5.25 million to the 4J district.
The retailer said it hasn’t found any other properties it’s interested in in that area of town.
“But if there’s another opportunity whenever it is in the future for that piece of land we’ll definitely be interested in it, it’s a great spot,” said Melinda Merrill, Fred Meyer spokesperson.
The retailer said if the property were to become available in nine months, it would get back in the game to purchase the property.
The school board also said it hopes the YMCA will be able to find another property to expand its facilities.