EUGENE, Ore. — The future of Eugene’s historic Civic Stadium was back on the for the 4J School District, Wednesday.
While volunteers come through pretty regularly to maintain the stadium, the area is normally closed off to the public and generally looks like empty. Both 4J representatives and the stadium’s neighbors hope that will all change soon.
“It was truly, truly wonderful. We would walk down to the game, you would go in, it didn’t cost a lot of money and you’d sit on these hardwood benches,” neighbor Tom Barkin.
It’s been four years since people could head out to the ballpark; now, the field and all these seats sit empty.
“It was declared surplus property back in 2002, yet at the same time the Eugene Ems were still renting it to play their baseball games and then they moved out and so now it’s just been sitting empty and we would really like to get rid of the property. We just don’t need it anymore,” said Mary Walston, 4J School Board Chair.
According to 4J, that costs about $25,000 a year. 4J says it’s ready to sell, but it won’t do anything without some public input.
“Um, I just want, I mean looks I guess. I don’t want to stare down at something that’s not very attractive. So I mean the Fred Meyers option was good,” said neighbor Andrea Favret.
While some civic neighbors were concerned about aesthetics, others wanted something more.
“The biggest community need we have right now is to have an expanded YMCA. That is a huge community resource. It provides recreation. It provides a community center,” Barkin said.
Some people were also rallying to have it host a sports team again or perhaps the city could purchase it and turn it into a park.
While the suggestions may vary, folks seem to want the board to keep one thing in mind when deciding the future of the historic ballpark.
“One of the great resources in Eugene that Civic Stadium provided was having a wonderful place for the community to come to that was right in the center of town,” Barkin said.
Wednesday night’s meeting is just a discussion. So the public is encouraged to come to the open session at 7 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Elementary to put in their two cents before any decisions will be made.