The future of Civic Stadium is once again in doubt after investors withdraw a plan to renovate the historic Eugene ballpark as a community center, as it will likely be sold to make way for a new Y.
The former home to Pacific Coast League and Northwest League teams is empty now that the Eugene Emeralds (short season; Northwest League) are playing at PK Park, and the local school district wants to shed itself of the asset. Local preservationists are working to raise funds for its preservation, but much of their hopes was riding on a plan from private developers, who were looking to raise $2.3 in a public offering and $20 million in a city bond issue.
But reality caught up to the developers; that’s a pretty small public offering with a very limited potential audience, and they finally decided to scrap the deal. It comes just eight days before the school board will decide on the fate of the 72-year-old ballpark at its Aug. 18 meeting. The leading bidder so far: the local Y, which would build a new facility at the site and then develop the rest of the site for recreational purposes.
Still, the ballpark is not completely dead. The Y says that even if it lands the property it will need some time to raise money for a new facility — and that time can also be used for preservationists to raise funds for a grandstand renovation. So while the withdrawal by local developers set back the efforts to save the ballpark, it didn’t kill them completely — and as anyone who’s worked on preservation knows time is always an ally.
Civic Stadium is on our list of Endangered Ballparks.
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