A proposed Portland Beavers ballpark in the city's Lents area lacks a crucial third vote needed for passage, and Bevos owner Merritt Paulson has threatened to move the team if an agreement isn't forthcoming.
A proposed Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark in the city's Lents area lacks a crucial third vote needed for passage, and Bevos owner Merritt Paulson has threatened to move the team if an agreement isn't forthcoming.
City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, a reluctant supporter of public funding of a proposed Rose Garden ballpark for the Beavers (a proposal that died after activists successfully fought for the preservation of Memorial Coliseum), hasn't said one way or another whether he'll support the financial plan for the proposed Lents ballpark. His lack of commitment is putting the project on hold and has clearly irritated Paulson, who has threatened to move the Beavers and turn PGE Park into a soccer-only facility.
That threat probably wasn't politically smart: there's no way the city would support the renovation of PGE Park if it meant losing the Beavers, even though the team's lease expires in 2010. And we're not entirely sure the Pacific Coast League would approve a move: Branch Rickey III has been a stalwart booster of baseball in the Rose City and fought valiantly to keep it there despite some huge challenges. So Paulson's threat is probably pretty empty.
But it does show the stakes here. The current plan for a ballpark calls for the city to borrow or spend $51 million, with the team paying back $25 million of that with rent and direct payments.
RELATED STORIES: Bevos, city close to final funding proposal for new ballpark; Rose Quarter location officially off the table for new Bevos ballpark; Bevos ballpark plans back up in the air — and maybe doomed; Portland ballpark vote delayed as mayor adjusts site, financial plans; New Beavers ballpark wouldn't happen until 2012 — at the earliest; Cost of Portland redevelopment mushrooms to almost $300 million; Crunching the numbers on a new Bevos ballpark; Portland proposes tearing down Memorial Coliseum for new Bevos ballpark; Portland City Council votes to move ahead with new Bevos ballpark — but takes $15 million from the equation; Paulson agrees to Portland's financial demands; still may not be enough; 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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