To our Ems Fans,
As general manger of the Eugene Emeralds, I’m writing to you today because I love our community and am thankful for your support of our team. Right now, the Emeralds need your help. This past year has delivered many changes to the way our baseball club operates. The changes have been positive but one, in particular, presents a challenge to the Emeralds and the community. First the exciting changes--As you know, the Emeralds have moved two levels UP the Minor League ladder from Short-Season Single-A to Full Season High-A. We played 76 games in the short-season format. Now the Emeralds play 132 games in a ‘full’ season format. We also signed a ten-year affiliate agreement with the San Francisco Giants.
But with all these exciting changes, the Emeralds must now adhere to new mandated guidelines from Major League Baseball regarding facilities and stadium infrastructure. That includes building locker rooms and facilities for female umpires and coaches, updating coaches and umpire facilities, enhancing player performance and practice facilities, and much, much more. Another complex layer is that our new longer season overlaps with about a third of the Oregon Ducks baseball season, and you can imagine the complication of scheduling overlapping games and practices.
The only option to keep the Emeralds in Eugene-Springfield is to build a new stadium or Major League Baseball will move the franchise to a new market and the Emeralds will be gone. Yes, you read that right. Our situation is urgent: if we don’t meet MLB’s facility requirements, they will simply move the team to a new market, and your Eugene Emeralds will no longer exist.
So… what would a new Emeralds stadium mean, exactly?
It would mean nearly 70 regular season Emeralds home games every year, plus playoffs. It would mean having a stadium that can operate as a year-round hub of economic-driving activity to support the Eugene/Springfield community and Lane County at-large by hosting large-scale concert entertainment events, that today skip Eugene because there are no comparable facilities. It would mean hosting youth and high school sports including local and regional tournaments and championships that bring competitors and families from all over the region to Eugene-Springfield to not only play in our community’s stadium, but also stay in local hotels and eat in local restaurants.
A new Emeralds ballpark would provide more than $75 million in economic output during construction alone, and another $32 million year-round with 250,000 baseball fans, 86,400 concert-goers coming in-and-out of the ballpark each and every year, and more seasonal jobs for youth and senior citizens.
It would mean having a home… our home that takes us back to our roots as a community ballpark. A new Emeralds ballpark it would be a community resource. I believe a new Emeralds ballpark will be the community front porch for activities that will be enjoyed by all during the baseball season and throughout the year.
I’ve been the General Manager of the Eugene Emeralds for a dozen years. I brought my wife with me from Southern California and together we raised our son, Christian, who just recently graduated from Churchill High School and is preparing for his freshman year at Bushnell University. This special place is our home.
The Emeralds belong to Lane County, and our front office is working tirelessly to make that happen, but THIS is how we can use YOUR help! Please Text: SaveOurEms (no spaces) to 855-340-5357 and follow our Facebook group ‘Save Our Ems’ and share your favorite Ems memory.
Together, we can keep the Ems right here where they belong.
Thank you for your continued support.
General Manager | Eugene Emeralds