Charter investors for Portland Diamond Project–the group working to bring MLB to Portland–have been unveiled, with names from the sports and business worlds in the mix.
Portland Diamond Project is the group behind a push to bring Major League Baseball to the Oregon city, and it has proposed a new ballpark and surrounding development at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 2. Founded by retired Nike executive Craig Cheek, the group also features former Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) announcer Mike Barrett as well as a long list of charter investors.
The mix of investors includes Seattle Seahawks quarterback and former Colorado Rockies farmhand Russell Wilson, along with his wife, the singer and entertainer Ciara. The couple’s involvement was announced last June, but they are not the only investors in the effort. Former MLB infielder and Oregon native Darwin Barney is part of the slate of charter investors, along with a long list of names from the business world–including retired Platt Electric CEO Harvey Platt and his wife Sandy, retired business owner and philanthropist Samantha Richardson, and many others. More from the Oregonian:
Cheek said the charter investors provided the funding to get the effort off the ground and help position Portland as a serious contender in the eyes of MLB’s league office.
The group announced in late November that it obtained land rights to the Terminal Two property on the Willamette River. It’s expected to expand that footprint to include additional acreage that would be part of the development.
“The charter investors are people who really grasped the vision and had the resources to get involved,” Cheek said. “They have strong ties to the area and are passionate about what we’re doing.”
Several of the charter investors have expressed interest in expanding their ownership stake in Phase 2 and 3 offerings. The combined stadium project and cost of obtaining a team is projected to run north of $2.5 billion, Cheek said.
Portland Diamond Project has certainly raised the city’s profile when it comes to MLB, but plenty of work has to be done to make the proposed Portland ballpark a reality. It also remains to be seen how the city would obtain a team. Though it appears to be on commissioner Rob Manfred’s radar for the future, MLB has not formally announced plans to expand from 30 to 32 teams. The Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays also still have unsettled long-term ballpark situations, and neither franchise has shown signs to this point that it is exploring a move. (The A’s are currently pursuing a new ballpark at Oakland’s Howard Terminal, while the Rays are locked into a lease at St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field that runs through 2027.)
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