A citizen task force charged with mapping the future of sports facilities in Portland will delay a recommendation for the site of a new Portland Beavers ballpark.
A citizen task force charged with mapping the future of sports facilities in Portland will delay a recommendation for the site of a new Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark.
The reason for the delay, according to City Commissioner Randy Leonard — who called for the establishment of the task force — is that it’s a waste of time to debate the location of a new Beavers ballpark if team owner Merritt Paulson doesn’t land an MLS expansion franchise. With MLS not likely to award expansion franchises until March or April at the earliest, the task force is now charged with finding a financial plan to fund the renovation of PGE Park as a soccer-only facility.
While the decision to delay makes some sense, politics may be involved, as some charge Leonard with wanting to rug the process to end up with a recommendation for a new ballpark in the city’s Lents area. Leonard says he’s been upfront with his preference for a Lents ballpark, but the task force will be charged with looking for a new ballpark site in all parts of the city, including one near Memorial Coliseum.