What’s the plan?

In 2015, Eugene Civic Alliance raised $4.1 million to purchase the historic 10-acre Civic Stadium site. Now it’s time for the next step: to build a new sports and recreation complex on the now-vacant land. We are calling it Civic Park, and we invite you to join us to make it happen. Here are some architectural renderings showing what’s planned:

Aerial view of the facility, looking southwest

Aerial view of the site, looking southwest

Rendering showing plan for entrance to Kidsports fieldhouse at Eugene Civic Park

Entrance to the Fieldhouse

Rendering showing plan for Eugene Civic Park field

View of the field and Fieldhouse from the west grandstand upper concourse

The goals

  • IMPROVE the health and fitness of children in our community, assuring equitable access for all.
  • BUILD indoor courts and an outdoor turf playing field — to fix a shortage of safe and decent places for sports and exercise.
  • CREATE a community space that will host tournaments, special events and minor league soccer.
  • ENSURE that park operations are financially and environmentally sustainable.
  • STRENGTHEN our sense of civic solidarity and pride.
Children playing Kidsports sports in Eugene

The need is real

This is a wake-up call

One Saturday in March 2015, Kidsports Director Bev Smith walked into the Lane Events Center gym and looked up. Rain was leaking through the roof onto the old wooden courts purchased years ago by the county from colleges around the country. Knowing she was about to disappoint hundreds of kids, she nonetheless had to cancel a series of basketball games.

In a city with collegiate sports facilities that are a point of community pride, indoor youth basketball games are being rained out. How did we get here?

The 15,000 children who play in Kidsports every year, along with many other youth and adult sports organizations, face a shortage of decent gyms and fields.

“The pickings are slim in the Eugene area for available gyms, and those that are available are in very poor condition, small, and not appropriately equipped,” Smith says.

“The most competitive sport in town is coaches trying to schedule gym time.”

We need Kidsports and other recreational leagues more than ever. Typical elementary school students in Eugene receive physical education an hour a week. Lane County’s obesity rates, for both children and adults, have been on the rise.

“The plans we have for Civic aren’t about something that would be ‘nice to have,’” Smith says. “This is fundamental to our ability to raise healthy kids and have them grow into active adults. I’m not talking about training elite athletes. We’re talking about basic physical skills and habits everyone should learn by the time they are 11 or 12. Today, without enough functional, available space to play, most kids miss out on what is truly the most cost effective and practical form of health care.

“We can’t fail them.”

“For the first time in our history, this generation may die five years younger than their parents.”

– from DESIGNED TO MOVE, a 2012 report into the consequences of inactivity,
initiated by Nike and produced by a consortium of more than 70 organizations.

It’s our time to step up

Eugene’s citizens came together in 1938, to chip in and build the original Civic Stadium. For decades, it was a gem, the heart of our community. Now, it’s our turn to step forward and build the new Civic. It won’t be the end of our work. It will be the beginning. And we will be a better, healthier community for accepting the challenge.

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