Federal bill sets aside $1M for Civic Park

Eugene Civic Alliance is anticipating approval of $1 million in federal funding in 2022 to revamp the retaining wall at Civic Park and kickstart the second phase of fundraising for the multi-million dollar project.

Congressman Peter DeFazio secured funding for capital improvements as part of the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. If passed by the Senate and the House, ECA will receive $1 million for improvements to the retaining wall along Willamette Street that is part of the project’s second phase.

“We are so grateful to Congressman DeFazio for supporting this important community investment,” said Bev Smith, managing director of Civic Park. “He recognizes the vital role that infrastructure improvements play in creating positive places for people to exercise and recreate.”

Improvements to the retaining wall on the west side of the field will serve as the foundation for a 2,500-seat stadium with a food court, press box, and other amenities, which comprise the project’s second phase.

The retaining wall was painted by community volunteers in 2017 and is one of Civic Park’s signature landmarks. The brightly painted green wall showcases silhouettes of people playing and is adorned with the ECA, Kidsports, and Civic Park logos.

In Phase 1 of the Civic Park Capital Campaign, the Eugene Civic Alliance has raised $30 million to build the Kidsports Fieldhouse and the playing field on the site of the former Civic Stadium, which burned down in 2015. ECA is $1.23 million away from reaching the Phase 1 finish line and embarking on Phase 2.

Since opening its doors in 2020, Civic Park has proven to be a needed space for the community to play and has brought in out-of-town guests. Lane United F.C. played their 2021 home season at Civic Park. Each game brought in up to 500 fans from across western Oregon. A handful of volleyball and basketball tournaments inside the Kidsports Fieldhouse also brought in out-of-town competitors to the heart of Eugene, allowing for local businesses to reach potential new customers.

“The investment I secured will boost our local economy and make sure all families and the community have a place to play,” added DeFazio.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to not only secure the federal funding but finish raising the funds for Phase 1 of the project before moving forward with Phase 2,” said Smith.

To donate or to learn more go to EugeneCivicAlliance.org/donate or call our office (541) 525-6601.