The city of Portland and management from the Portland Beavers and Portland Trail Blazers unveiled a plan to tear down Memorial Coliseum to make way for a new ballpark.The city of Portland and management from the Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and Portland Trail Blazers unveiled a plan to tear down Memorial Coliseum to make way for a new ballpark.
As of now, the plan is fairly conceptual. It involves tearing down the Memorial Coliseum — a secondary facility to the Rose Garden, one whose only full-time tenant is the Portland Winter Hawks WHL hockey franchise — and creating an entertainment district to be run by the Trail Blazers. A centerpiece of the entertainment district is a new $55.5 million Bevos ballpark.
The plan is nice, but it actually muddies things up in terms of financing. As you’ll recall, last month Beavers owner Merritt Paulson and the city came to an agreement on an $88 million plan for a new ballpark and a renovation of PGE Park as a soccer-only facility, but a huge funding gap remains on that project. An urban-renewal district using tax-increment financing can’t be set up for the Rose District — there’s already one in place, with the proceeds dedicated to other projects — so financing an entertainment district is a big question mark. Trail Blazers ownership say they may invest in the district, but are looking to the city to pick up a large share of the costs.
Public discussion of the plan will begin with an April 14 hearing.
RELATED STORIES: Bevos ballpark plan runs into serious financial obstacles; Portland task force gives preliminary approval to new Bevos ballpark — with plenty of conditions; Portland ballpark discussion shifts to Rose Quarter; Decision on new Bevos ballpark location delayed; Will new ballpark fly in Lents?
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