There was discussion at the last RRCO General Meeting about the proposed new stadium for the EMS. As a newcomer to the City of Eugene (less than 5 years) I was curious and asked a friend who sent me the link below and some highlights that I found helpful. Perhaps others will as well. —— Brenda Wills, RRCO Board Member
Here are main points:
There are both scheduling and facilities issues that make sharing PK Park no longer possible. The new full-season schedule format means that both teams need the stadium at the same time. The Ducks use the PK locker room and facilities until they finish their season, which results in the Emeralds without access to the home facilities until well into their season.
Even more importantly, PK Park does not provide a visiting locker room, or other facilities to meet the MLB minimum requirements for High A Teams. Currently the Ems rent construction trailers to house players, trainers, coaches and female staff. The Ems did approach the UO about expansion potential, but without an additional practice field and facilities, it’s not possible to share PK Park.
The relationship between Major League Baseball and a team’s community is a partnership. The league pays for the talent on the field, signing the players, paying their salary and health insurance, housing, meals, and associated costs. The community is responsible for providing a suitable place for them to play.
The proposal for a new stadium in Eugene is a collaborative effort between the team and the community. The Ems will be sharing financially in the cost of construction and operation of the new multi-use stadium with the community (see below). The new building will be available year around for much more than baseball. In addition to the support of youth sporting and many charitable events, the new facility will be available as an arts and concert venue, as well as an emergency response site for disasters such as wildfires and other events requiring evacuation and temporary service delivery. The Ems have agreed to be the operator of the new stadium, which contributes significantly to pay ongoing costs.
The plan for financing the new stadium does NOT include any increase in local property taxes.
We have been working with Lane County for about two years to develop a funding plan and have made all of our information public in meetings with the Lane County Commissioners. The original cost was much lower but over the time of planning for the new stadium construction costs have increased significantly.
The current estimate is about $90M to build the new stadium/multi-use facility, and about $10M to replace the existing livestock barn which will be displaced with a new stadium.
To date, the confirmed funding plan totals $57.5M including:
- $35M in tourism taxes
- $13.5M direct payment from the Ems
- $7.5M allocation from the State of Oregon
- $1.5M allocation from the Federal government
We are working hard to secure a contribution from the City of Eugene, which will help close this gap. Additionally, the funding plan includes a request to the State or Oregon for an additional contribution, and a large private sponsorship as part of naming the stadium. Together, these contributions will close the gap.