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Thursday vote could determine Bevos ballpark fate

A vote by the Lents Urban Renewal Advisory Committee could determine whether the Portland Beavers get the green light for a new Lents-area ballpark.

The fate of a new Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark could be a lot clearer after the Lents Urban Renewal Advisory Committee votes on whether to support or oppose the proposal for a publicly financed ballpark in the Lents area.

City councilperson Dan Saltzman, the swing vote on the five-person body, says he'll go whichever way the advisory committee goes. If the committee strongly endorses the plan, he will vote for it.

The $40 million plan calls for the ballpark in the Lents area in the southeast area of the city. It would replace PGE Park as the home of the Beavers and free the facility for yet another renovation, this time as home to an MLS franchise. Opponents say building a new ballpark is an unnecessary waste of tax dollars on an iffy facility — Lents is practically suburbia and not regarded as the best part of town — while Beavers owner Merritt Paulson says MLS won't award him a franchise unless a soccer-only facility is in place. We hear from MLS circles that's not as firm a demand as Paulson and other city officials claim.

RELATED STORIES: New Beavers ballpark lacks support on City Council; Bevos, city close to final funding proposal for new ballpark; Rose Quarter location officially off the table for new Bevos ballparkBevos 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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