Sports for All Seasons

Raise the Roof: Sports For All Seasons

We urge you to support a proposal for an indoor multi-use sports facility, bringing all-season fun to local youth athletes while boosting local businesses all year long!

Why We Need An Indoor Multi-Use Sports Facility

Creating an indoor multi-use sports facility will generate millions of dollars in visitor spending each year, including in the winter when visitor demand is typically lowest. It will also:

  • Attract a variety of sports tournaments and events to our community from across the region and beyond.
  • Reduce the need to travel for Lane County families who will benefit from a premiere local venue for sports tournaments and events.
  • Have the ability to serve as a temperature-controlled emergency response shelter.

Proposed Facility Features

As the only facility of its kind in Oregon, an indoor multi-use sports facility would be a unique draw for people from across the Pacific Northwest. It would be located at the Lane County Fairgrounds to add more functionality and year-round appeal to that property. Features of the proposed facility include:

  • A hydraulic, banked 200m indoor track that can raise and lower in just four minutes.
  • Convertible spaces for nearly every imaginable indoor athletic or recreational event: 
    • 18 wrestling rings
    • 16 volleyball courts
    • 6 basketball courts
    • 20 pickleball courts
    • Gymnastics
    • Cheerleading
    • Martial Arts
  • Ample storage for a variety of flooring and implements and proximate setup
  • A mix of up to 4,000 permanent and temporary seats
  • Training and competition space for student athletes from middle schools, high schools, local colleges and universities
  • Ancillary spaces for medical, training, hospitality, and other uses as needed
  • Locker rooms, restrooms, concessions, office and meeting space
  • Meeting space to replace or add to the fairgrounds current offering

Economic & Community Benefits

An indoor multi-use facility will generate millions for our businesses that rely on visitor spending. It will:

  • Draw stable, all-season revenue, projected to draw as much as $50 million in cumulative spending in the community within five years and nearly $250 million over 20 years, all while breaking even in operating costs in year 5, according to consultant estimates.  
  • Boost our hospitality industry. Within five years, it’s expected to generate 25,000 room nights (rising to 32,000 room nights in 20 years).
  • Reduce seasonal fluctuations in hospitality jobs, aiding employee retention in hotels, restaurants, tasting rooms and more.
  • Capture otherwise-lost visitor tax revenues that could better support our broader community to fund parks, museums, arts and marketing the visitor industry.
  • Improve the health of our local youth by allowing them to participate in year-round sporting events. Having adequate community facilities and athletic programs is especially important amid rising obesity rates among our nation’s children, while kids who live active lifestyles are six times more likely to stay active as adults.
  • An indoor multi-use facility will also provide a critically needed emergency response space for wildfires, earthquakes, extreme heat and more.
  • Maximize the use of the county-owned fairgrounds property to deliver year-round community-centered services.

Cost Estimate & Funding

An indoor multi-use sports facility is estimated to cost $60-70 million. Sources of revenue to pay for this facility include:

  • A Tourism Improvement District (TID) incorporating an increase in the Transient Room Tax (TRT), which at its current rate is projected to draw $16 million in FY22. Each new point of TRT could bring in $1.3 million in the metro area or $1.8 million countywide.
  • Video lottery and state grants: This project and its many benefits seems a good candidate to receive $10-$15 million in state general fund and recreation grants and/or federal grant support.
  • Existing TRT funds already allocated to the county and fairgrounds.
  • Federal funding for emergency response.
  • Private funds and fundraising: A publicly owned facility could make large-scale private fundraising challenging, but Travel Lane County is committed to working to secure support from private and public organizations. We hope to generate individual, corporate and institutional support as a demonstration of community support.

What Can You Do?

If you’re in favor of an indoor multi-use sports facility as an economic driver and benefit to our local athletes and business community, please join us!

  • Email your county commissioner and urge them to vote for an indoor multi-sport facility:
    • Sample letter:

I would like to express my support for an indoor multi-use sports facility and urge other local residents to do the same. It would provide a year-round economic boost to the local business community while providing local youth with all-season sports and recreational opportunities. As the only facility of its kind in Oregon, an indoor multi-use sports facility would be a unique draw for people from across the Pacific Northwest. Let’s get together as a community to make this happen.

  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper:
    • Sample letter:

I would like to express my support for an indoor multi-use sports facility and urge other local residents to do the same. It would provide a year-round economic boost to the local business community while providing local youth with all-season sports and recreational opportunities. As the only facility of its kind in Oregon, an indoor multi-use sports facility would be a unique draw for people from across the Pacific Northwest. Let’s get together as a community to make this happen.

  • Talk to your neighbors and community organizations
  • Express your support via social media

Join Our Mailing List

To stay informed, join our mailing list to receive updates and ways to express your support at public meetings and more.

FAQs

Why the fairgrounds?
The fairgrounds are county-owned and offer ample space for a multi-use sports facility, along with space for plenty of parking and easy access to public transportation. The location is also close to lodging and restaurants in downtown Eugene, with the Oakway, Valley River, Gateway and Glenwood areas all just minutes away.

What about the proposal to build a new Ems stadium?
We support the new Eugene Emeralds Minor League Baseball stadium at the fairgrounds as long as it does not use an increase in Transient Room Tax (TRT) funds to build it. There is plenty of room at the fairgrounds for both the Ems stadium and an indoor multi-use facility, and there could be substantial cost savings realized between the shared facilities. We need an indoor facility that can attract visitors’ dollars during our shoulder and winter seasons and provide emergency response space for our community.

Why now?
An indoor multi-use sports facility has been in the works for about 5 years as a possible local project, but no site has been committed to date. The Lane County Fairgrounds are undergoing a master planning process. An increase in TRT was identified as a possible source of funds for a multi-use facility and TRT funds are intended to support the visitor industry. It's important that we use a TRT increase for a facility that will drive winter visitor demand. The Ems stadium won't do that, but an indoor multi-use sports facility will.

What about a proposal for an indoor track in the Springfield area?
We have long supported the effort to build an indoor track in Glenwood, formally proposed in 2019. However, securing land and an ownership structure has hampered that effort. Placing the indoor multi-use sports facility (with an indoor track as a feature) on the Lane Events Center / fairgrounds property brings it to life years earlier than waiting for a site to be committed and build-ready in Springfield. We believe the benefits of a multi-use sports facility to our broader community are too great to postpone this effort any longer. Now is the time to show our support for this project and propel it forward, until we cross the finish line.