A renovation to turn historic Civic Stadium in Eugene, Ore., into a home for soccer and children’s sports was scheduled to begin in July. Sadly, that will not happen.
A fire on Monday evening destroyed the baseball stadium, which was built in 1938 and once served as the former home of the Eugene Emeralds, the Class A minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. No injuries were reported.
A fire official said the ballpark is a total loss, according to the Eugene Register-Guard. Crews were called to the scene shortly before 5:30 p.m. Flames rose to twice the height of the stadium before the fire was contained just after 7 p.m. From the newspaper:
The cause and origin of the fire was not immediately known, but the wooden structure’s dry, seasoned lumber caused the fire to spread quickly, Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Randy Groves said at the scene.
The Eugene Civic Alliance raised funds in February to purchase the Civic Stadium property for $4.5 million. The alliance said in a statement that the stadium was insured for up to $3 million.
“It is too early for us to know where we go from here,” the statement said, according to the Register-Guard. “We ask for a bit of grace and patience as we come to grips with this loss to our community and to our effort. ... Civic is an important touchstone for our community, and today we mourn its loss.”
According to the city of Eugene, Civic Stadium is entered in the National Register of Historic Places. The stadium was one of only 12 wooden ballparks left in the United States.
The Emeralds moved to $19.2 million PK Park in 2010. That ballpark is located behind the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, home to the Oregon Ducks football team.
See footage of the fire below.