Civic Stadium 'has more lives than a cat'

Civic Stadium 'has more lives than a cat'

EUGENE, Ore. - Supporters of saving Eugene Civic Stadium have not given up.

Three interested parties have banded together on a short term lease proposal in the latest effort to try and save the old ballpark.

"We think it's time, and this community needs it, this Y needs it," said Dave Perez, director of the Eugene YMCA.

The proposal is a one-year lease plan, with a longer option, to save Civic and put a new Y at the property combining proposals that were rejected this summer by the Eugene School Board.

The proposal comes from a newly created company, Civic Community Group.

"It will buy us time to finish work on a joint proposal we've been working on for several months now," said Ron Crasilneck with Save Civic Stadium.

He said time is needed to assess fundraising to save Civic from the wrecking ball at a cost of $1 million to $3 million.

The Eugene Y welcomes the partnership with Rick Wright, the owner of Market of Choice who created the Civic Community Group, Perez said.

"It's not going to be the Y doing it on its own or Rick doing it on his own," Perez said. "The whole community is going to have to jump up and say we want a new Y there."

KVAL News attempted Friday and again Monday to reach Wright, who did not respond to calls seeking comment on the proposal.

Critics have suggested Wright is only involved in the effort to block a Fred Meyer store that had been proposed for the property.

"Well, we've talked about that," Crasilneck said. "There's probably some self-interest there but not very much."

He said it may be the bottom of the 9th, but don't count Civic out.

"Like I've told many people, this stadium has more lives than a cat," Crasilneck said, "and I think we can make this happen."

First base for the new plan is Wednesday when the Eugene School Board gets their first report on the proposed lease.