Last Thursday’s R.G. headline proclaimed that “City’s Civic offer wins 6-1.”
In reading the headline one might believe that “Old Civic Stadium” had been spared the wrecking ball by the 4J School Board tentative approval of the City of Eugene's stadium purchase offer.
On the surface, good news for a non-profit group of concerned citizens working toward the preservation of the Great Depression era built ballpark since 2009.
2010 would be the first time in decades that semi-pro baseball would not be played on a field that had entertained Eugene residents for generations. And, with the Emeralds went the revenue needed to upkeep and possibly update Civic Stadium.
Here’s the catch: The City’s offer to purchase Civic Stadium from the 4J School District for $ 4.5 Million is tied to a major financial contingency. The “Friends of Civic Stadium” must raise $3 million within 6 months of the City Council’s vote to approve the City’s utilization of surplus “Park Bond” funds to purchase the park.
The $3 million dollar reserve contingency is earmarked for the restoration of the 75 year old stadium bleacher and canopy structure; upgrade of the grounds and park entrance as well as the possible integration of retail and food concessions; compatible with the preserved historic venue.
Left in the dust of debate is the proposed development of a mixed use shopping and residential development proposed by Portland based Fred Meyer, Kroger Markets and the Eugene YMCA.
We’ll let the R.G. share their slant on the issue here.
On a personal note: I’ve spent a handful of Summer afternoons at the Civic Stadium ballpark and prefer it to yet another shopping center, retail development. A retail center is not needed at the corner of 20th Ave. and Oak Street. Traffic flow in the area is a bit more than congested as one transitions onto Willamette Street.
A new development would further exasperate the condition while proving redundant as to location.There are several major shopping outlets within 5 minutes Civic Stadium.
For more information on “ Friends of Civic Stadium” and how you may help, check it out here.