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Decision on Bevos ballpark could go to Beaverton voters

If land can be found for a suitable price, a proposal for a new Portland Beavers ballpark in suburban Beaverton could go before voters.

All ballpark deals are complex, but the developing deal between the Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and Beaverton is growing more complex by the day, not less.

A tight set of deadlines and uncertainty over both a site and funding are colliding, putting pressure on all sides concerned. The Beavers want to see a new ballpark for the 2011 season, which mean construction would need to start in February and some sort of agreement be worked out by Dec. 15. The Beavers have offered $9 million up front for the $59 million ballpark and would pay rent; the city would increase property and utility taxes to finance and fund the rest.

Now, that's a lot to cram in between now and February: coming up with an agreement, receiving city approval for the agreement, and then floating bonds for the construction. Not impossible, but not easy, either.

But there's one big complication involved: many, if not a majority of Beaverton City Council members want to see the matter put to voters. it's obviously too late now for a fall election, and it's not clear if one can be held before construction begins on a new facility. Putting off construction of the ballpark means the team will need to find a temporary home for part of the 2011 season.

In short, things are still a mess in Beaverton. To make things work: city officials admit they're having a very hard time finding land suitable for a ballpark.

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