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Task force to evaluate Portland ballpark proposal

Mayor-elect Sam Adams puts together an 18-member group to study the potential move of the Portland Beavers to a new ballpark.
Mayor-elect Sam Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard are putting together an 18-member task force to study public financing of a plan to build a new ballpark for the Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and a remodeling of PGE Park for an MLS expansion franchise.

The group will also evaluate potential ballpark sites. Beavers owner Merritt Paulson has proposed a new ballpark in the city’s Lents area, but the task force will also consider alternate sites, including land near the Rose Garden and Memorial Coliseum, and the Terminal 1 property just north of the Fremont Bridge, on the west side of the Willamette River.

Paulson’s plan calls for the renovation of the current home of the Bevos, PGE Park, to a soccer-only facility subject on the awarding of an MLS expansion franchise in 2009. The city would issue $85 million in bonds to finance both the renovation of PGE Park and construction of the new ballpark; those bonds would be paid back by revenues generated by both projects.

Meetings of the task force will be public.

More from the Oregonian. More from Soccer Stadium Digest. Willamette Week has a nice article on the Paulson proposal and its poltiical implications.

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