A comparison of proposed leases between Hillsboro and the Yakima Bears (short season A; Northwest League) reveals something interesting: despite a team offer to pay up front toward a proposed Clark County ballpark, no such demand was issued by Hillsboro.
Not that it would have made a difference anyway: with Northwest League president Bob Richmond heading the Hillsboro negotiations — as opposed to the Bears management negotiating a lease for Clark County that was eventually killed by county commissioners — it would have been highly unlikely that any upfront payments would have been offered, much less accepted. In Hillsboro, we’re talking about a basic $15 million facility to be built on city land; in Clark County it was a much more ambitious multipurpose facility.
You can read a close dissection of the lease negotiations here. It’s a pretty standard story: both sides begin with their wish lists of items and negotiate away toward a final compromise. In the end, the relocating Bears will be paying one of the highest lease payments in the Northwest League at $150,000 per year while giving up parking revenues and agreeing to a ticket tax, while the Portland suburb will more than cover its operating expenses and pay down on ballpark bonds that will benefit the entire complex. In the end, it sounds like both sides were happy with the end deal, and that’s the definition of a successful negotiation.
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