Dear Allan Benavides: [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds]:
I am sorry I missed the opportunity to go drinking with you in Eugene last night. Instead, I stood in a parking of the new Tru by Hilton, drinking lukewarm Bud Lights with some locals on some sort of work release program. I am sure they were not violent criminals or anything, although they certainly seemed to know a great deal about the Civic Stadium Fire of 2015.
Yes, I should have given you more notice that I was arriving in Eugene last night but in my defense:
- I thought I was staying in Bend last night, but there was just too much flannel in that town for me to rest my head peacefully on my pillow.
- I was not expecting to have to first drive through a snowstorm, then a Noah’s Ark type flood to get to Eugene. I also wasn’t expecting the city to close at 9:00 PM.
- Life comes at one pretty fast on the minor league circuit, and often there is no time to make concrete plans. Now that your organization has a full season schedule, you will experience this first hand, say like when MLB tells you need to have a new stadium by 2025, or you will be moved to Walla Walla or Yakima.
Hopefully, we will be meeting for bloody marys this fine morning, although as I look over the Willamette River, I see beaver shivering in the cold. Will your staff be joining us for breakfast? I cannot think of a better team building activity than slamming some shots of Jameson with a road warrior like myself.
I am pretty sure I found a possible future stadium site from my hotel window because that is just the way I roll. However, I am sure there are environmental concerns that must be addressed. How close are you with Mayor Lucy Vinis? Do we consider her an ally or the opposition? What about Governor Kate Brown? It is good to have pocket in your pocket when pushing for public funds for stadium construction. Sure, in a perfect world, we would push for a privately funded stadium, but we both know the Elmore Sports Mafia does not have that kind of liquidity so it is up to the good citizens of Eugene and Springdale to foot the bill for a modern stadium that will be the gold standard of MiLB parks.
Here are some must haves for our new stadium:
- A statue of you and I outside the front gate with cocktails in our hand. After all, it was out vision that brought this park to fruition.
- Corporate luxury boxes so the good people of Nike do not have to interact with the peasants.
- Sasquatch stadium bars on pavilions by both foul polls.
- A visitor’s clubhouse.
- A giant team store that is also a Fed Ex Drop Box so your organization does not have to rely on the Pony Express anymore to deliver its team merchandise.
Anyway, let’s eat.
Your friend in baseball,