EUGENE, Ore. — Eugene’s Civic Stadium may soon have a new owner or operator, the city. At Monday night’s meeting, city councilors approved a plan to give the city manager the opportunity to explore how the city could lease or buy Civic Stadium.
In a 5-to-2 vote, city councilors approved a motion to look further into leasing or buying Civic Stadium. Councilors say the motion runs deep with ideas.
“They ranged from engaging in dialogue with 4J and Travel Lane County, the new football club, the soccer club and the Save Civic group to explore different ideas,” said councilor Claire Syrett.
The stadium, which has been out of commission since 2009 when the Eugene Emeralds moved to PK Park, has sat vacant on a plot of land owned by the 4J School District.
Councilor Claire Syrett says Monday’s decision will finally help get the ball rolling.
“What are the costs involved, what are the complications, what’s the potential economic viability,” Syrett said.
“The cost of the stadium is one thing, the long-term operations and maintenance of it is another. The refurbishing of it is another. The city doesn’t have that kind of money right now and it’s kind of financially irresponsible for us to pursue that just now I think,” said councilor Mike Clark.
Clark, who voted against the motion, says moving forward with ideas of leasing or buying civic stadium just isn’t smart.
“We have a budget shortfall come this spring that we’re still trying to deal with. We may ask voters to help us with some kind of bond in the future for a new city hall and if we can spend the money on this, I think that’s a little irresponsible,” Clark said
All councilors agreed Civic Stadium should be preserved somehow. They say an idea might not get hashed out within 4J’s timeframe for selling the property, although the school district could extend its deadline if need be.