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Decision on Civic Stadium: Commerce vs. community

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Civic Stadium, Eugene

At the end of the day, the fate of Eugene's Civic Stadium will come down to a simple decision: commerce versus community.

There are four bids for the former home to Pacific Coast League and Northwest League ball in the form of Eugene Emeralds franchises. Two, from Fred Meyer ($5 million and the Y ($4.5 million), would tear down the WPA-funded wooden grandstand and replace it with a new structure. Both bids would also put the property back on the tax rolls, but both would require city approval of a zoning change and potential appeals from community groups.

The bid from the city -- $4.5 million -- would keep the structure intact in association with the Friends of Civic Stadium.

The Eugene Register-Guard has an in-depth look at the financial ramifications of the Powell and Y bids. If you were to look at this solely on the financial merits, the bid by Fred Meyer would be the clear winner: besides the cash, there would be an annual $455,000 property-tax payment to local governments. Similarly, the Y offer would divide the property, with proposed housing generating property taxes as well. But Eugene isn't your typical city, so it's hard to predict how the school board will go: Civic Stadium has been a big part of the Eugene community for more than 75 years.

Civic Stadium has sat empty since the Eugene Emeralds (short season A; Northwest League) moved to PK Park. The local school board owns the facility and solicited proposals for the property. A decision on the bids is expected in 2014.

Image from Save Civic Stadium Flicker page.

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