Milwaukie (Ore.) city officials have scheduled a series of hearings on a proposed minor-league ballpark in the Portland suburb for a short-season-A Northwest League ballpark.
With a proposed ballpark for the Yakima Bears (short-season A; Northwest League) in Vancouver, Wash. seemingly stalled because of disagreements over funding, Milwaukie officials are rushing into the breach with their own ballpark plan. Portland is one of the more alluring open markets in Minor League Baseball, so there's an obvious economic incentive for the Bears or, say, a Brett brother to get a team into the area.
There was no professional baseball in Portland last season -- a development that benefited the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (short season A; Northwest League) in terms of attendance.
The plan from Milwaukie calls for 4,000-seat ballpark to be built on the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail corridor at a a state-owned maintenance yard. The site also includes a 1938 historic structure that could be converted to a brewpub by a prominent local vendor. Mike Higgins, former senior vice president of Portland's PGE Park, has been working on the plan.
RELATED STORIES: Milwaukie moves ahead with ballpark-feasibility study; Clark County postpones ballpark hearing; County scales back commitment to Portland-area ballpark; Competing ballpark plans in Portland; New Portland-area ballpark could provide economical bump: study; Clark County reverses course; will exclusively negotiate with Bears; Clark County passes on exclusive negotiations with Bears; opposition to new ballpark rises; Funding plan emerges for new Clark County ballpark; Yakima Bears to Portland area
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