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Tuesday elections could determine fate of Bevos

Portland BeaversTuesday’s election for Mayor and City Council in Escondido (Cal.) could go a long ways in determining the fate of the Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) in 2012 in beyond, as most candidates oppose spending public money on a new ballpark.

We already know there will be a new mayor in the North County city, as incumbent Lori Holt Pfeiler has decided to step down and instead is running for City Council. She’s been a strong proponent of spending $50 million on a new ballpark for the relocated Bevos (a cost that could easily exceed $90 million by the time the costs of borrowing the money are tallied), as is incumbent Marie Waldron, who is running for reelection.

The five challengers for the two positions on the council (the top two votegetters take office) all oppose spending public money on the ballpark. The issue: whether spending that much money on a new ballpark would actually spur economic development. A report from The London Group says yes; the challengers are openly skeptical of that claim.

In the mayoral race, there’s no incumbent, and the three leading contenders aren’t as vehemently opposed to the ballpark as the City Council candidates, but there’s still a high level of skepticism from all three.

The proposal: the city would build a new ballpark for the Beavers, which San Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad is in the process of buying for a reported $18 million. The Padres would put little up front and receive virtually all the revenues from the ballpark.

In a year where incumbents are an endangered species and the voting base is veering right, being a Republican opposing the expansion of government isn’t a bad position to take, which is why the dynamics of the election could matter. It’s clear the election was taken into account by ballpark proponents and the Padres: both sides wants to see a ballpark deal go down in November. Whether all the pieces can be put together before a new city government takes office in 2011.

RELATED STORIES: Bevos to Tucson for 2011; Escondido ballpark vote delayed after pollution found at site; Fate of Bevos in the air until November, maybe December; Padres pitch one-sided lease to Escondido; Escondido: Show us some money, Padres; Escondido in, San Marcos out of Bevos ballpark mix; Portland Beavers to…Lake Elsinore?; Could bidding war erupt for Bevos?; Portland Bevos update: Tucson-bound?; Come 2011, where will Beavers play?; Paulson finalizes deal for PGE Park soccer conversion; whither the Bevos?; Paulson withdraws bid for Bevos ballpark in Beaverton; Decision on Bevos ballpark could go to Beaverton voters; Beaverton, Bevos reach agreement on new ballpark sans site; Land woes could kill Bevos ballpark in Beaverton; Picketers greet pro-Beavers rally in Beaverton; Landowners not thrilled with Beaverton Bevos ballpark plan; Bevos eye Beaverton for new ballpark site; Paulson withdraws request for Bevos ballpark in Lents; Portland to move ahead with soccer renovation, put off plans for Bevos ballpark; Thursday vote could determine Bevos ballpark fate; 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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