Rogue X serving as inspiration for potential recreation facility in Eugene

MEDFORD, Ore.– A number of Lane County politicians and business leaders were in Medford Wednesday visiting Rogue X.

The City of Eugene is considering building a similar facility and the city is looking to partner with Rogue X. In addition to Rogue X, city officials are also looking at the Podium in Spokane, Washington for inspiration.

The Cities of Eugene and Springfield have been looking at building a recreational facility for the past five years.

Travel Lane County said Rogue X is one of the facilities they would like to model theirs after.

Travel Lane County’s VP of Stakeholder Relations Andy Vobora said, “we think Rogue X is amazing. We’re really inspired by the commitment the community has had to bring a facility like this to life.”

City officials from Eugene, Springfield and Lane County were all in Medford to tour Rogue X and the Lithia Driveway Fields.

Vobora said, “we’re really interested in the court space here, the type of floor surfaces that are used, and the aquatic center is a fantastic addition and it’s something that I know serves this community well.”

The City of Eugene wants to build a facility similar to Rogue X because it can not only bring in money through monthly memberships like Rogue X does, but it can also create sports tourism through hosting things like tournaments, which can be a big economic driver for its community.

When you hear the phrase “sports tourism” you might think about professional sports teams and they money they bring in for the businesses in their area, but sports tourism can also be created by amateur sports as well.

In 2023 alone, Lithia Driveway Fields brought in around $12 million, mainly through hosting tournaments.

That’s the type of economic impact the City of Eugene wants to create with it’s facility.

“We want to give our local kids an opportunity to stay home and just serving residents for that need for adult leagues and youth practices,” Vobora said, “we just don’t have enough space for those types of things to be done effectively and efficiently.”

Rogue X has already hosted a number of big athletic events and tournaments since it opened earlier this year, including the Medford Major cornhole tournament and the Special Olympics Winter Regional basketball tournament.

But Medford City Manager Brian Sjothun said they are still finding ways they can improve the facility.

“It’s been incredibly popular,” Sjothun said, “we know that people do get frustrated because our open swims get sold out in very quick fashion, so we’re working on adjusting some schedules in order to accommodate more people that want to use the facility.”

Sjothun said they will have the opportunity to partner with the Eugene facility when it comes to hosting tournaments.

Vobora said they will know in the spring if the City of Eugene will move forward building an indoor recreation center.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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