The inability of the short-season Northwest League to commit a team to a new ballpark has led Milwaukie (Ore.) officials to drop work on funding for such a new facility.
The league and the city were facing a July 31 deadline for a team. Last week the league informed the city that a team commitment would not be procured by today’s deadline, leading city officials to conclude that ballpark development dead, despite the possibility of bringing a summer-collegiate West Coast League team to the Portland suburb, according to the Oregonian.
The move is more than a little surprising: the assumption for months has been that the greater Portland market could support multiple Northwest League teams and, indeed, more than one NWL team — besides the Yakima Bears, moving to nearby Hillsboro next season — had expressed interest in a move, with the Boise Hawks ownership openly bidding for such a move. (We’ve also been told one more owner has expressed interest in a move.) Now, timing is everything, and in some ways things have changed in Boise in recent weeks, giving the Hawks hope of gaining a new ballpark in what’s considered to be a prime western market.
Whether or not the proposed ballpark is truly dead remains to be seen: while city officials don’t seem to be very pleased, ballpark proposals like this have a way of coming back — and all it takes is interest from one NWL owner to make it work.
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