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Ems stadium at Lane Events Center could aid in emergency preparedness

Rachael McDonald

Lane County Commissioners Tuesday got an update on a proposed multi-use facility at the fairgrounds. The project would be a permanent home for the Emeralds Baseball team.

There are a lot of community concerns about the potential impact of a baseball stadium in the heart of Eugene, including parking, noise, and cost.

Commissioners said they want to address those concerns while still exploring the potential benefit of the project.

Many of them pointed out the importance of the Lane Events Center for community gathering and emergency response.

Commissioner Jay Bozievich wanted people to know it’s still early in the process.

“This is important to me not because of the Ems,” he said. “This is important to me because of the Events Center and keeping the Events Center viable.”

Bozievich said a big benefit of designating the project for emergency response is that it would be built to withstand a subduction zone earthquake.

So, when you think about long term emergency planning and what facilities we are going to have operational and available to us at that time, this is going to be a critical piece of serving our community,” Bozievich said.

On Tuesday, the board approved two contract amendments that allow the county to continue to work on the project. They also discussed having an agency help with community engagement so more of the public can be involved with the planning process.

Copyright 2022 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.