Portland Diamond Project, the group working to bring Major League Baseball to Portland, says it is closer to announcing a site for a new ballpark in the city.
Portland Diamond Project has been publicly working to bring an MLB team to the Oregon city, with part of their efforts focused on finding a site for a new ballpark. The group has been linked to several sites in recent months and it appears that it is narrowing its options, and believes that it could announce the acquisition of a ballpark site in the coming weeks.
During a radio interview Monday, Portland Diamond Project managing director and former Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) announcer Mike Barrett expressed the group’s optimism. More from KGW.com:
During a radio appearance Monday, Portland Diamond Project managing director Mike Barrett said if all goes well, the acquisition of a property for a new baseball stadium could be announced in four to six weeks.
“I think, optimistically, within a month we could announce the acquisition of property,” he said during an appearance on “The Dwight and Aaron Show” on 620 AM.
Barrett said PDP is progressing in its bid to purchase a site for the stadium and has narrowed it down to two properties they’re really excited about. He added that the door hasn’t been shut on any of the properties they’re considering, some of which have been made public, some which haven’t.
“We are really kind of buckling down on a couple. I don’t want to limit it to two, but we’re really grinding on a couple right now that we’re really excited about,” he said.
Landing a site would be a crucial step in a longer process, as it remains to be seen how a ballpark project would be funded. There is also the question of how Portland would obtain a team. While the city has long been discussed as a potential MLB home, expansion is unlikely to be seriously discussed by the league until the ballpark searches of the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays are settled, and both teams are working to build new facilities in their current markets (in fact, the Rays are set to announce details on a new ballpark project in Tampa’s Ybor City on Tuesday). It is possible that one of or both of those teams will come up short in their current locales, but for now it does not seem that either is in the mix for a relocation.
In addition to Barrett, Portland Diamond Project backers include Nike executive Craig Cheek and former Oregon lawmaker Jason Atkinson. Seattle Seahawks quarterback and former Colorado Rockies farmhand Russell Wilson, along with his wife, the singer and entertainer Ciara, are also investing the effort.
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