Recreation Field Location Options Study

Current Recreation Field

Recreation Field Location Options Study - Final Report

Final Report (pdf)


The purpose of this study is to assess site options for locating physical education and recreation fields on and off campus, including potential partnerships, as directed by university president Michael Schill. In his May 11, 2018 response to the UO Senate action (US 17/18-14) regarding the university’s North Campus Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application to the City of Eugene he states:

“Several suggestions have been made recently regarding different ways to approach the potential future need for recreation fields such as partnerships with nearby schools or additional locations accessible by EmX.  While I cannot comment on the viability of these options, I can commit that the first step in the process to amend the campus plan to incorporate the area north of the tracks will be to complete a study that would look more closely at options available to us on where to locate additional recreation fields and potential partnerships.  The study will be consistent with campus plan principles and take into account factors such as safety, proximity to students, operations, costs, environmental impacts, neighborhood impacts, and zoning limitations”

Project Description

The study is not a site selection study as there is no identified project. The results of this study will inform future Campus Plan amendments that will incorporate the area of campus between the railroad tracks and the Willamette River, a portion of which the university has identified as a potential location for future year-round recreation fields. This study will evaluate site options for locating physical education and recreation fields to support future university needs. This study will also assess opportunities for partnering with local agencies to fulfill the demand for additional recreation fields.

Detailed project description can be found here (pdf). 

Program for Future Fields

Accommodate three student recreation fields, in addition to the existing four synthetic turf fields on campus, to provide facilities for physical education, intramural sports, club sports, and open recreation for students from 8am to 11pm.

  • Support Physical Education Classes

  • Intramural Sports:  Flag Football, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, Softball

  • Club Sports:  Baseball, Cricket, Lacrosse, Rugby, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, Softball

  • Open Recreation:  Fields available for unprogrammed use by students

Field Location Study Process

The Field Location Options Study began with a preliminary assessment of potential sites. The initial assessment considered evaluation criteria (Level 1 evaluation pdf) to determine viable sites for more detailed evaluation. Following the Level 1 assessment, viable sites were evaluated using additional criteria (Level 2 evaluation pdf). The study is not a site selection study as there is no identified project. The intent is to understand the university’s options for locating future recreation fields for physical education and recreation.

Process Diagram

Level 1 Evaluation 

The Level 1 evaluation is intended to assess a wide range of site options and determine which sites meet basic criteria to merit further, more detailed evaluation. This is not a site selection, but intended to narrow down potential sites to be evaluated. 

Evaluation Criteria:

1. Size: Multiuse fields must accommodate a variety of activities.

  • Minimum Field Size: 200’ x 360’

Single, isolated fields are not practical for programming or maintenance. Off-campus sites must accommodate two or more fields to meet programming needs.

2. Location: Site must be accessible to students by multiple modes of transportation within a reasonable travel time. To be considered accessible sites must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be accessible by bike in 20 minutes or less
  • Be accessible by car/shuttle in 25 minutes or less
  • Be accessible by public transportation in 25 minutes or less

3. Zoning: Land use must allow for recreation fields.

The complete Level 1 evaluation can be found here (pdf).


Level 2 Evaluation 

The Level 2 evaluation is intended to assess sites using more detailed criteria. This is not a site selection, but intended to understand the considerations that will need to be evaluated when considering possible sites for locating recreation fields. 

1. Campus Planning Considerations:

  •  Principle 2: Open-space Framework
  •  Principle 4: Space Use and Organization
  •  Principle 5: Replacement of Displaced Uses
  •  Principle 6: Maintenance and Building Service

2. Environmental Considerations

3. Safety

4. Site Specific Cost Considerations

5. Neighborhood/Community Considerations

The complete Level 2 evaluation can be found here (pdf).


Partnership Considerations

The scope of this study includes understanding what options there are within the community to create partnerships to meet the university's needs related to recreation fields. 

Key Findings

  • Throughout the community there is a high demand for the use of recreation fields, especially synthetic turf fields in the fall and spring when natural turf fields support less use.
  • Rental of facilities throughout the community currently support competitions or tournaments for UO Club Sports.
  • When the university rents other facilities, it translates to less space for other users throughout the community. 
  • There is potential to explore a partnership with the City of Eugene at Golden Garden Park, although proximity to campus is an issue. 
  • There is potential to explore a partnership with the city to intensify the use of Amazon Park fields. 

More information on partnership considerations can be found here (pdf).




For more information, please contact:

Aaron Olsen, ASLA
Landscape Planning Associate
(541) 346-5564