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MLB to Portland? Not likely, says mayor

Portland BeaversDespite some passionate supporters, it’s highly improbable Major League Baseball will land in Portland any time soon — and that assessment comes from those who should know, including Mayor Charlie Hayes.

Tracy Ringolsby wrote a piece for indicating some support for Major League Baseball in Portland: organizers have identified a waterfront site near the Rose Garden (a site where the Portland Beavers ownership once pitched a new ballpark, by the way, a proposal that was met with a collective yawn from Portland politicos and business leaders) for a new ballpark. They claimed to have the support of a sympathetic mayor. All they need is funding, a team and ownership, and by gum they’ll have Major League Baseball in Portland.

Of course, there are a few flaws with this plan: no money, no team, no owner. And, apparently, no support from Portlandia politicos, as an aide to Hayes put out the word that MLB is not a priority for his office any time soon:

Not so, according to Hales aide Dana Haynes. In an email, Haynes told the Business Journal that “this is not a priority project for the mayor; it wasn’t in 2013 and it isn’t in 2014.”

MLB in Portland has always been pushed by a small group of passionate supporters, who do make some compelling arguments about the region’s ability to support MLB. (For the record: We believe it would succeed — if done right.) But those efforts have always come up short for a couple of reasons; one, no deep-pocketed owner has ever stepped forward in a leadership role, and two, a ballpark funding plan has never surfaced. Most observers, including Rob Neyer, don’t see a groundswell of support for a Portland MLB team. So until a potential owner comes up with the money for a team and contributions for new ballpark construction, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see MLB in the Rose City any time soon.


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