Nonprofit group closes months-long deal on Eugene’s Civic Stadium

EUGENE, Ore.— The dilapidated roof over a 78-year-old Civic Stadium is the first repair in line for the Eugene Civic Alliance, a nonprofit group of community activists that bought the property in a long-awaited deal that closed Monday.

The city bought the site from the Eugene School District and then immediately sold the property, minus a half acre, to the nonprofit organization for $4.088 million, the Eugene Register-Guard reports.

That half acre will stay city-owned and eventually become a park. The alliance sold almost three-quarters of an acre to one of its directors and a real estate investor to generate about $400,000.

More than 120 private donors contributed to the alliance’s efforts. The ballpark will be home to a soccer field and give Kidsports a site to build a field house.

Mayor Kitty Piercy called the stadium Eugene’s “field of dreams.”

“It’s taken many partners to bring us to this day, and it will take the leadership of our community members to renovate and give new life to this historic stadium,” she said. “It’s our own ‘Field of Dreams,’ dreams for the preservation of the past and commitment to the future of our children. I have every confidence in the dream now moving to reality.”

The ballpark was approved by voters in 1938 during the Great Depression. Labor was provided by the Works Progress Administration, and materials were donated by lumbermen in the area.

The Eugene Emeralds, a minor league team, had been a long-time tenant, but vacated in 2009.

Proposals for the stadium’s future included a big-box anchored shopping center or a YMCA facility with housing.

Alliance members are kicking off repairs this summer.

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