New architectural drawings reveal a beautiful, renovated field and grandstand with massive old-growth structural timbers — capturing the vision shared by civic leaders and Works Progress Administration who in 1938 designed and built Civic Stadium for public use.
The site was then deeded to School District 4J for a token $1, and 4J is now selling it. We are determined to raise the $3 million needed by early September for the restoration of the stadium and field so the city will follow through to purchase the property. It will ensure that the promise is kept: that Civic continues to be used for the public good. That’s a no-brainer when the probable alternative is another big-box store with out-of-state ownership like Fred Meyer.
Civic sits on a large (10.2 acre) property and potential partners have expressed interest in sharing the site. Some would like to build a field house for youth sports in the current parking area. Many agree that Eugene needs a versatile indoor venue where cultural and educational events exhibiting Eugene’s unique commitment to healthy living and sustainability could be held year-round.
Who is involved in making this historic community treasure beautiful and utilized again? If not you, then you likely have a friend or neighbor who says, “I love that place; we’ve got to save and restore it!”
There is diverse support for the continued public ownership of the Civic site. Athletes from neighboring South Eugene High School want to use the field for their field sports again. Adults fondly remember playing and watching baseball and football at Civic. Young soccer players would love to play at Civic, and with their families watch the minor league teams of this increasingly popular sport. UO, LCC and NCU students would like to play ultimate Frisbee, rugby, lacrosse and other field sports in the heart of the city.
Local bands like The Sugar Beets want to play concerts on the field. Local promoters have expressed interest in bringing outdoor summer concerts to Civic. Area wineries have asked to rent the space for cultural events. Classic car lovers want to show their beauties at a classic venue like Civic. Add your favorite community event to this list!
The Friends of Civic Stadium’s fundraising plan is based on the viable “community fundraising pyramid.” The base is comprised of the people mentioned above — those who have used or would be using Civic. In addition to donating, some are sponsoring house parties and benefit concerts. The mid-levels of the pyramid represent those of us who can afford to give a tax deductible gift of $50 to $5,000. (Donations can go into an escrow account and will be returned if we are not able to meet the city’s deadline.)
Individuals giving in this range join more than 25 businesses in our new Civic Partnership Program, helping us get the word out to their customers (please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if your business is interested in participating). We hope you will support Civic by patronizing our business partners listed on our website.
Further up the fundraising pyramid are the foundation and corporation grants supporting historic preservation and safe, healthy opportunities for youth recreation. The pyramid’s “capstone” will be gifts from those who can make a very large donation to the community. Their participation depends on the pyramid base demonstrating that it deeply values Civic as an important regional public asset for future generations.
Community support is growing every day and we hope you will join in. Volunteer, get a lawn sign and donate at friendsofcivicstadium.org.
Thanks for supporting Civic! — Dennis Hebert