To all Emeralds Fans,
I’m Allan Benavides and I’m the General Manager of the Eugene Emeralds. During my tenure the past 14 years, this front office has been able to do some amazing things. Aside from winning 4 championships in the last 6 years, the real victories are the accomplishments we’ve been able to make in this community. From helping to keep the Boys and Girls Club open in 2011, working year-round with the Childrens Miracle Network, helping hundreds of residents during the horrific 2020 Holiday Farm Fire, hosting Relay for Life, reaching out to our LatinX friends with Monarcas Beisbol, hosting our annual Pride night, and hosting National Night Out with our local police - we’ve honored the notion that community driven initiatives drive our baseball club. Nonetheless, the hard and sad truth of the matter is that this nearly 70-year-old Eugene tradition of Emeralds baseball is on the precipice of losing this team forever.
As you may know, The Ems were elevated to High-A Baseball in 2020. Our season increased from a 76-game season to 132-game season. We now have 66 home games versus to 38 home games when we were a short-season club. Our season now starts in early April rather than mid-June. Up until 2020, PK Park worked fine hosting two home teams in the Ducks and the Ems. However due to strident new MLB facility guidelines, overlapping seasons with the Ducks, we must find a new facility to call home. Highlighting our stressful situation are the early weeks of June 2023. The recent success of the Ducks Baseball program hosting Super Regionals and moving our home series to Washington last minute just emphasizes the severe need for the Emeralds to find a new home.
On behalf of the Eugene Emeralds, I am personally reaching out to YOU and asking for your help. For the last 2+ years, I have been diligently working hard to get a new facility for the team and we’ve made some good progress at the Lane County Fairgrounds. We know there are issues with this site and some neighbors are very concerned. We will work hard and communicate heavily with the neighborhood to be a good community advocates for Jefferson Westside and the community at-large. For over 40 years, the Emeralds played in beloved Civic Stadium which was right in the middle in a neighborhood in South Eugene. This opportunity brings the team back into the community and bring a new venue for many communal uses.
This new facility will help modernize our aging fairgrounds. The project has several locker rooms to host multiple teams for tournaments. These facilities will also be vitally important if we ever have a disaster in our community. Our hope is that this new facility will not only host the Emeralds but a slew of other events: High School and adult baseball and softball, holiday events, non-profit events, graduations and many more community driven uses. However, at this point, the chances of a new facility being built are 50/50 at best.
Building a multi-use facility at the fairgrounds would not only secure the future of Minor League Baseball in Eugene. A new stadium near downtown Eugene would revitalize the Fairgrounds neighborhood and increase revenue for local businesses. As a multi-use facility, a ballpark at the fairgrounds would provide residents with a state-of-the-art recreational space. It would also provide Lane County with an outdoor destination for events and concerts the county does not currently have. We have heard and understand concerns associated with noise and light pollution; however The Emeralds are committed to working with neighborhood residents to make this transition simple.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP:There are new councilors and two brand new commissioners, and they need to hear from people like you. People often ask how they can help, and I tell them without a doubt that personal emails from citizens go a long way. We’ve been cognizant of not asking too much of you, butwe really need youto write letters. I often hear folks say, “When are they gonna start building the new stadium?” Only to inform them that there has been no decision on moving forward. Let me be clear:nothing has been approved to move forward. The design team put together by Lane County has been working on getting a budget for the project and they are presenting this to commissioners this month. As they get ready to hear an important update, we need YOU to get loud.
If you are so inclined to help, please send a personal email to commissioners and city councilors to encourage them to help build this facility in partnership with the Emeralds. Please send emails to:
On behalf of the Emeralds, thank you for reading and helping keep the team here in the Emerald Valley!
General Manager | Eugene Emeralds