“I don’t want to see duplexes in center field,” said a young Eugenean back before Civic Stadium stopped hosting events in 2009. The kid who appears in a video about Civic on ArcheologyChannel.org was prophetic — the two main proposals from the Y and from Fred Meyer for Civic involve tearing it down. The video shows footage from one of the last Ems games at Civic and can be seen here.
Today, both the city of Eugene and Friends of Civic Stadium submitted proposals to save the stadium. Friends of Civic says on its website:
Yes, even though we are 100% behind the city’s effort to buy the site, we did present a proposal. We had not planned to respond to this RFP but we did it because (1) the city’s bid is contingent on the $5.5 million commitment on a 60-day timeline and (2) because 4J declined to delay the RFP to allow citizens who needed more time to put a bid together or put more dollars behind the city’s proposal. We will withdraw our bid if another offering more revenue and preserving the stadium rises to the top.
Friends of Civic has already raised $200,000 in an escrow account. To donate go here. The group says it wants to reopen Civic as a sports and entertainment venue.
Civic was built under the Works Progress Administration in 1938 out of old-growth wood donated by local timber companies. There are only four other wooden WPA stadiums still standing (and in fact, in use) and eight other non-WPA wooden stadiums.
Update: Here is the news release from Friends of Civic:
Friends of Civic Stadium is submitting an RFP proposal for 4J’s serious consideration – although we realize that some may consider a token or protest proposal.
IMPORTANT: We 100% support the city’s proposal. But we want our proposal to be considered in case supporters aren’t able to meet $5.5 million renovation and maintenance commitment requirement in time or the city’s proposal is not accepted for some other reason.
Our offer is for $16.56 – which is the current value of the $1.00 which 4J paid the City of Eugene for the site in 1938. Although at first glance it may seem absurd to offer only the 2013 equivalent of that $1.00, the reason this proposal should not be dismissed is that we would keep the site available to the public as the recreation facility it was intended to be when it was deeded to 4J in 1938. 4J students of today and tomorrow will have access to a facility that will be even better than the one 4J students in the past were able to use. This offer may seem like a token but we feel, in fact, that 4J has already received more than $5 million from the City of Eugene when they contributed to the creation and rehabilitation of synthetic fields at 4J schools in 1998 and 2006. By accepting that contribution 4J would be acknowledging and reciprocating this $5 million payment from the citizens of Eugene to 4J for student recreation.
We believe our case is compelling and its acceptance would be good for 4J and the community. One City Counselor commented at a City Council work session on Civic that we won’t always be in this era of budget tightening and when we come out of this period we’ll be glad we invested in places the community values like Civic Stadium (not an exact quote). We agree and hope 4J will too.