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USL Eugene announces plans to bring professional soccer to Eugene, Ore.

By Staff, 04/18/24, 4:00PM EDT


Expansion side would play in recently rebuilt Eugene Civic Park

EUGENE, Ore. - USL Eugene today announced its intention to bring USL League One soccer to Eugene, Ore. In a historic collaboration, the Eugene Civic Alliance (ECA) and KidSports announced the nearing completion of the Civic Park Stadium, setting the stage for the creation of USL Eugene which would become the city's first professional soccer team. The stadium project, a symbol of community resilience and innovation, transforms Civic Park Stadium into a beacon of professional sports and community identity.

Following a devastating fire in 2015, the Eugene community - spearheaded by the ECA - rallied to transform tragedy into triumph. The result is a modern Civic Park Stadium, embodying Eugene's resilience and cooperative spirit.

"When Civic Stadium was lost, there were a lot of people who saw it as a threat to the health of our community, but a creative and hard-working team hatched a new plan and people responded," commented Dave Galas of Lane United FC and ECA.

This endeavor has produced a state-of-the-art complex featuring a 3,500-seat stadium, enhanced seating and concessions, top-tier locker rooms and a premier soccer field, ensuring an exceptional experience for players and spectators.

With the stadium's completion, Eugene plans to welcome a USL League One team, which would mark a monumental step in the city's sporting history.

"The Pacific Northwest has demonstrated the potential for professional soccer in the United States," USL Deputy CEO and Chief Real Estate Officer Justin Papadakis said. "As the USL continues to grow its presence in the western U.S., we’re excited by the potential that USL Eugene and the entire Eugene community has shown. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Dave and John Galas, the Eugene Civic Alliance and KidSports in order to bring professional soccer to the Emerald City."

In a parallel stride, Eugene intends to launch a women's professional team, underscoring a deep commitment to expanding women's soccer opportunities in Eugene. This strategic expansion not only champions gender equality in the sport but also offers a prestigious stage for women athletes, further diversifying and enriching the local soccer culture.

The newly revitalized Civic Park Stadium not only marks a milestone in Eugene's sporting landscape but also heralds a transformative era for KidSports and the community's youth. For the first time, KidSports benefits from a revenue-generating facility, significantly bolstering its ability to expand access to sports, enhance program quality, and ensure inclusivity. This partnership represents a remarkable leap forward, providing a sustainable financial model that supports scholarships and fosters a nurturing environment for young athletes.

The stadium will serve as a vibrant hub for aspiring athletes, offering them inspiration from professional levels of play and embedding values of teamwork and sportsmanship. Civic Park Stadium stands as a testament to the community's commitment to youth development, leveraging sports as a catalyst for fostering the next generation of athletes and leaders.

"The generous contributions of time, effort and funding from our community members and larger donors have been instrumental in turning this dream into reality," reflects Bev Smith, Executive Director of ECA and KidSports. "We invite everyone to join us in this new chapter for Eugene, as we look forward to creating lasting memories and inspiring future generations."

For more information about USL Eugene, visit the group's website and follow on social media on X (Twitter), Instagram and Facebook.

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