EUGENE, Ore. — “Friends of Civic Stadium” got their hands dirty today, they say the tear down and clean-up of the tattered fence that lined the stadium just weeks ago, is one thing they hope is keeping them in the ball game in the fight for the fate of Civic Stadium. After major damage to the fence over time, the 4-J school district let the group take it down. Volunteers say it’s a visual reminder of what is still here, after sitting through a year of much debate on what to do with the space. Board member of Friends of Civic Stadium, Jim Watson, says it’s a chance for people to see a gem that’s been in hiding.
“Now they remember what is was like on the inside when they were coming to Ems games here and i think that’s motivating people to ask questions and come help us,” says Watson.
Their vision isn’t as lofty as what it started out to be, but the main idea still remains, to bring professional development soccer leagues to a refurbished Civic Stadium.
“Soccer is the next big growing thing, the stadium is actually positioned very well to watch soccer out here,” says Tom Halferty, co-founder of Friends of Civic Stadium.
With bi-weekly clean-up sessions, the still standing structure keeps them coming back.
“We’re still in the game, even though now the superintendent suggests they might build Roosevelt here, the fact that it’s still here, keeps us going,” says Halferty.
Members say feedback from hundreds through e-mail, has shown them that the community isn’t giving up either.
“We expected some people to say just give it up, and well a few did, but most said keep going,” says Watson.
Neighbor Jason Caughey has lived across from the stadium for twelve years. He’s rooting for Friends of Civic, and anyone else who might help bring the stadium back to life.
“60 days of the year I was used to my parking lot being full and energy. I used to go over there even when I didn’t want to watch, and they used to let me in to buy a giant sausage,” says Caughey.
Friends of Civic say with a solid business plan and designs behind them, their next step is to look for donors.