City Council Split on Civic Stadium

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EUGENE, Ore. — It’s still unclear if the City of Eugene will be putting its name in the hat to be the new caretakers of Civic Stadium.

City councilors went back and forth for nearly an hour during Wednesday’s city council work session debating if they could plausibly pursue saving the shuttered ballpark. In the end, nothing was decided as the group moved to table the discussion.

The question on what to do with the stadium is a conversation that goes back years.

“It’s important that we do whatever we can to preserve it for its historic significance and not just for sentimental significance. I know it’s sentimental to many people, but it’s a historic structure,” said Betty Taylor, Eugene City Councilor.

Some councilors admitted that they didn’t have the funds to maintain the property if they could get it, but argued it was their duty to fight for it.

“If we can’t make it work, I think we sell the property and we end up in the same circumstances we tried to do that today. At least we tried,” said Alan Zelenka, Eugene City Councilor.

And while most of the group shared the desire to keep the stadium, for some the desire couldn’t beat out reason.

“I would love to preserve Civic Stadium in a perfect world, but this is not a perfect world. This is not a perfect situation,” said Greg Evans, Eugene City Councilor.

“We are in a real serious financial bind, and I think the city may not be the white knight that I had been hoping we could be when we first began this conversation,” said Claire Syrett, Eugene City Councilor.

In the end, the group remained split. And with the mayor unwilling to move without a majority, with a vote of five to three the matter was tabled.

The mayor said it’s now up to the councilors to talk it out and attempt to sway one another either way. So at this point, it’s unclear if or when the proposal could return to the council.

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