Located right behind the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium, PK has full locker rooms, clubhouses and team amenities, a partially-covered roof, specially designed lighting structures, a state-of-the-art high definition video board and a digital inning-by-inning scoreboard.
" At it's completion in 2010 PK Park was the newest and most advanced baseball stadium on the West Coast," said the stadium's architect, Robert Esau of DLR Group in Portland.
The park has a total capacity of 4,000, including 2,040 box seats with backs, a general admission bleacher section that holds 480, 52 ADA and companion seats, two picnic plazas, eight upper level luxury suites and a VIP lounge.
The Emeralds' previous, historic and much-beloved ballpark was Civic Stadium, built in 1938 and home of the Ems since 1969. Designed as a football and baseball facility, the park was part of the Works Project Administration (WPA). The stadium was to have been just a part of a larger project that was to develop much of the surrounding area. A multi-use park including a swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts and track were projected for the areas surrounding Civic Stadium, but the larger vision never materialized.
At the time, in the late 1930's, Civic was an uncovered wooden structure that seated 5,000 fans. The first athletic contest at Eugene's new facility was a Eugene-Corvallis high school football game. Civic Stadium continued to be used for football and in the 1940's it took on semi-professional baseball.
In the 1940's and 1950's, Civic was home to many a Cascade League semi-pro contest, with the Giustina Reds and Eugene Caseys being among the clubs to call the park home.
Baseball at Civic took a considerable hiatus in the late 1950's and most of the 1960's as Eugene's professional baseball clubs played at Bethel Park. After three seasons of no professional baseball, the Emeralds were born in 1955 and called Bethel their home as a member of the Northwest League.
Baseball would eventually return to Civic in 1969 as the Ems secured a spot in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, and outgrew the smaller confines of Bethel Park.
Making Civic Stadium suitable to minor league baseball was no small task. The stadium's lighting system needed to be doubled and new turf was required on the playing field. An outfield fence had to be erected and light poles opposite the stands on the gridiron configuration had to be moved off the field of play. It was the first time that 800 theatre-style box seats were installed. The wooden seats were purchased from the San Diego Padres when the Major League team left River Island Stadium. Sound-deadening material and several other improvements to the 30-year-old facility ran about $120,000 and weren't completely finished when the team played its first game in 1969.
Safety concerns were a big factor in the Ems moving from Civic Stadium to PK Park, as well as an opportunity to play in a brand new, professional-style ballpark.
The Eugene Emeralds have been a part of a rich history of baseball in the Willamette Valley. 2010 marked a significant change in the team's stomping grounds, but the Ems will continue to do what they've always done--provide fun, affordable family entertainment.
To learn more about some of the Emeralds' most notable players, check out the Emeralds Hall of Fame.