During the MLB takeover of MiLB, we noted that several team would be granted provisional licenses. We’re now seeing that’s the case with the Eugene Emeralds (High-A West), who have been told PK Park is not a suitable long-term home.
When MLB transitioned MLB from a franchise system to a licensed system, those Professional Baseball Licenses (PDLs) came with plenty of new conditions when it comes to facilities. It’s no secret some teams, like the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Double-A Northeast), made the list of 120 MiLB teams based on the assumption that a new ballpark would eventually become reality.
In Eugene, the Emeralds share PK Park with the University of Oregon Ducks, a perfectly fine situation when the Northwest League was a short-season league. But now that the High-A West circuit is a full-season endeavor, MLB wants to see the Ems in their own ballpark and informed team management they have until 2025 to come up with a new-facility plan. Now, in terms of fan amenities, PK Park is a fine facility, but when it comes to player facilities, it’s lacking many checklist items on the new MiLB facilities list–heck, it doesn’t even have a visitors clubhouse–so the order to find a new ballpark is not a surprise. From KEZI:
“We’ve looked at different locations in Springfield, we’ve looked at different locations in Eugene,” says Allan Benavides, Eugene Emeralds General Manager. “That’s the number one goal. The simple fact is if we don’t find something, Major League Baseball will move the team to somewhere they can build the facility.”…
“If we had our own stadium, if we could get back into the neighborhood and have an Ems stadium, it would give it that community feel that we had at Civic Stadium. But having our own stadium going back to our roots as a community ballpark, that’s the goal. That’s what we want.”
One goal, Benavides says, is a location close to the team’s former home, Civic Stadium. That facility burned down after the Em’s move to PK Park, but it’s since been built up with other municipal offerings.