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.
RELATED STORIES: Milwaukie: We expect ballpark deal by end of July; Debate continues: Can Portland support two short-season team?; Milwaukie, Northwest League discussing team, ballpark; Hillsboro approves offer sheet to Yakima Bears; Hillsboro set to vote on new ballpark; Milwaukie will delay decision; Milwaukie advances, Hillsboro retreats in Portland-area ballpark race; Yakima County: We’ll discuss ballpark upgrades; Plan B for Bears: Work on Yakima ballpark plan; Admissions tax voted down in Clark County; Milwaukie seeks public input on new ballpark; Milwaukie moves ahead with ballpark-feasibility study; Clark County postpones ballpark hearing; County scales back commitment to Portland-area ballpark; Competing ballpark plans in Portland; New Portland-area ballpark could provide economical bump: study; Clark County reverses course; will exclusively negotiate with Bears; Clark County passes on exclusive negotiations with Bears; opposition to new ballpark rises; Funding plan emerges for new Clark County ballpark;Yakima Bears to Portland area
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.