Baseball By The Mall

Imagine a new stadium for the Eugene Emeralds in the northwest corner of the parking lot at the Valley River Center. The stadium would have a terrific view of the river. Fans could bike and walk to the games along the riverfront paths. It is not surrounded by a residential neighborhood that would be impacted by the traffic and noise of the games. There are wonderful restaurants and hotels and shopping adjacent to the site.

Instead, Lane County is proposing to build a stadium for the Ems at the Fairgrounds, causing noise and traffic congestion from three games a week for five months in the middle of a residential neighborhood with no restaurants or hotels or shopping nearby — at a cost of more than $100 million — to benefit a private organization whose owners don’t even live in Oregon. What a terrible idea. Not just Valley River Center, but also alternative sites along the river in Glenwood or in the hills at LCC would have been far better. I vote “no” on a new stadium at the Fairgrounds. Oh, wait, they aren’t going to submit it to a vote!

Jim Kocher

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