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.
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