EUGENE, Ore. – A fire destroyed the historic Civic Stadium one year ago today.
On June 29, 2015, thick dark smoke and flames were rising from Civic Stadium and a piece of history was gone.
Calls came in just before 5:30 p.m., and within minutes the flames took off, shooting up twice as high as the grandstands.
Residents living within a two block radius were evacuated as firefighter quickly arrived on scene.
Fire crews reported that the fire was not related to the hot, dry conditions and asked the public for help.
Three boys admitted to starting the fire inside the 77 year old building and were sentenced to take a fire safety course and serve five years probation. A fourth boy was given a year to complete a formal accountability agreement.
The stadium opened in October of 1938 and was home to the Eugene Emeralds for 40 years.
As we reflect on the past of the stadium, one group is focused on the future, giving the community a glimpse of hope.
The Eugene Civic Alliance is putting efforts into rebuilding the stadium.
The park grounds has been inactive since the fire but the alliance has been hard at work constructing plans for a new stadium to bring activity back to the area.
The plans were developed months ago with the old stadium still occupying space.
They said the new site will include a soccer field with synthetic turf and a grandstand. It will include a new field house for kids’ sport teams and an urban plaza.
The alliance said it is using the past as a foundation to build something that future generations will enjoy for years to come.
“That fire was really a catalyst for this community we were inspired by the kind of outpouring of support and enthusiasm that we had immediately afterwards and we’ve built on that since then,” said Derek Johnson.
He also said there will be some activity at the park grounds this summer when crews tear down the existing kids’ sports clubhouse and clear the rest of the field.
The new stadium will be the home of Lane United