This has been in discussion almost since Merritt Paulson bought the current organization. The vision for MLS has clearly trumped any notion that a ballpark convertible to a major league facility could make Paulson money, since he only seeks 8 to 10,000 seats for a new baseball facility.
The Lents location upsets most of the baseball fans for not being centrally located. It is clearly Randy Leonard's attempt at redeveloping a crumbling neighborhood in Portland.
Across the Broadway Bridge from the Rose Quarter is "almost" riverfront property somewhat north of downtown... maybe. Not sure the city controls the property in question.
The unnamed property is one that is rumored to be Paulson's favorite, and on a lot owned by the city. Thing is, that could be Portland International Raceway, who just lost the Champ Car (now re-merged with IRL) series race. That could somehow be the Memorial Coliseum property, though another Tribune article today has Paul Allen's people actually proposing a rebuilt arena rather than several other suggestions they have pushed in the past. Frankly, that's vaporware IMO... which means that could be where the city's considering the ballpark.
Last year, there were rumors of contacts with Boise and one or two other cities regarding the Beavers. I doubt Merritt Paulson wants to move them, but I wonder if his priority for baseball is a funded ballpark. Stay tuned on this.
When renovating PGE Park for MLS came to a city task force, they wrestled with the notion of neighborhood-oriented Lents Park or the more centrally located Memorial Coliseum site before a city commissioner advised them to focus on the soccer issue, given time constraints. The task force gave unanimous consent to a plan where a new ballpark is built and PGE Park is renovated for Portland Timbers in MLS.
Memorial Coliseum (next door to the Rose Garden) became the preferred site, but the financing details scared a lot of people, a group of architects went into overdrive in their attempts to save the Coliseum, and the Portland Trail Blazers worked more quietly to squash the deal. The Blazers have development rights on the Coliseum property if the city abandons "public use" of it, so they've essentially fought every proposal put forth regarding the Coliseum to this point. For that matter, a new task force is being formed to explore the fate of the Coliseum.
As the Coliseum proposal died, the Lents Park proposal was reborn. The previous fall, it had 2-to-1 support in the neighborhood per a questionaire sent out within Lents. The proposal morphed into taking most of a bloc of urban renewal funds raised within Lents, the realization of parking and traffic issues became too much to bear, and Merritt Paulson eventually pulled the proposal before the Lents Urban Renewal Advisory Committee could vote on it.
The city eventually voted to decouple the MLS and baseball issues, essentially paving the way for a deal to get done regarding PGE Park. Also, part of this deal involves an August 1 deadline for which the city has exclusive rights to try to find a site for the Beavers. This does not appear to be getting anywhere, and the main drivers of the proposal seem resigned to this fate.
Anyway, with suburbs Hillsboro and Vancouver thrown around as possibilities (and not necessarily probabilities), a slightly better option has come to the fore.
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/inde ... new_b.html
http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncou ... stadi.html
Some complain of the traffic, but there's workarounds. Light rail access is good, and it's an older office complex-addled area (with high vacancy rates) rather than a neighborhood. The money's the hurdle.
From now until early April, pilings and footings will be placed into the ground along the east side by SW 18th. At that point, the Field Turf will be laid back over and the Beavers and Timbers will play the 2010 season. When baseball season is completed, the non-soccer turf will be permanently removed and stands for the east side for Major League Soccer and PSU football will be installed. I'm not sure if the Timbers will finish the season at PGE Park, and PSU has mentioned that they may not play most of this season there.
Last, I mentioned Beaverton's interest in the Beavers. Merritt Paulson pulled the plug on that idea when the votes didn't materialize. However, there's a urban renewal district proposal in about the location coveted by the Beavers. No guarantees that the city seeks the Beavers as the "catalyst" for the deal. Paulson says he's working to try to find a Portland area solution, but most of the few Beavers fans concerned believe the Beavers are destined to leave town.
I don't blame Portland Beavers PCL baseball fans for being upset I on your side on this issue MLS Portland Timbers fans have lost all site of the real issue. Too many soccer fans in the city of Portland are to blinded by MLS to see this is wrong and the city of Portland comes off as a embarrassment and dumb which I think is sad for baseball fans in Portland.
Portland Beavers PCL baseball fans got screwed by first the Portland Winter Hawks junior WHL hockey and the save the dump Coliseman people/Portland Trail Blazers NBA and then by MLS and the city of Portland all parties should be ashamed of themselves of how this all went down and there part in my opinion. I felt so bad for the baseball fans of Portland I am writing this to let everyone know what a joke this is and how wrong it is in my opinion. Outsiders are watching like myself seeing the city of Portland make a complete fools of themselves for MLS that at best is five in this country sport wise and Buffalo has a bad image nation wide? Portland looks like boozos everyone involved in this farce and three ring circus. MLS in many cities are averaging what Buffalo draws in NLL indoor lacrosse and that is what Portland is throwing away the national past time baseball on and is all excited about to give the Portland Beavers PCL the boot. I love MLS or NASL and would love it in Buffalo someday but not in place of a established Buffalo Bisons IL team for 125 years that is stupid.
The city of Portland went from having a soccer and baseball team co exist to one soccer team that isn't right in my book and bad business. Your basically giving Paulson money to help fund his MLS dream and letting him walk away to either sell or cut a deal in another city with Portland cities baseball team that is stupid and a bad business deal forget if your a soccer or baseball fan the only winner is Paulson the owner. He gets a redone stadium paid for so he has his MLS team that has more value than NASL team don't lose sight of that and then he cuts a deal with another city for the Portland Beavers PCL Portland got played as fools in my opinion. The city of Portland should have done nothing and let the Portland Beavers PCL and Portland Timbers NASL stay at Civic Stadium as is and used the money for better uses than Paulson wallet in my opinion. Because that is where the money is going in franchise value so when he sells someday he walks away with a bundle thanks to the city of Portland.
The city of Portland would have kepted both teams and saved the money to use it on things that are important in life other than the sand box of life which sports are. I love sports but I don't like greedy owners or a city people being taken advantage of and the city of Portland are being taken on this deal. I am sorry to all Portland Beavers PCL fans and your 107 years of tradition toss away by Paulson, Garber and the MLS like garbage. All three along with the political people of the city of Portland should be ashamed of themselves in my opinion.
I wouldn't be celebrating if I was the city of Portland this is a bad deal for the Portland sports fan and the people of Portland that like more then soccer and like all sports. I love soccer because I grew up with it with the Buffalo Stallions MISL Major Indoor Soccer League I and Buffalo Blizzard NPSL National Professional Soccer League indoor soccer and have met alot of good people in the sport of soccer. There great people that I have come accross but so are baseball people, lacrosse people and hockey people you get the idea.
This deal isn't right to the Portland Beavers PCL fans. You are all welcome to become Buffalo Bisons IL fans when your team leaves after 2010 proabley to either Tucson, Arizona or Vancouver, British Columbia would be my guess. Vancouver realized the mistake they made letting the Vancouver Canadiens PCL go.
I also think it is funny how Portland Timbers soccer fans say to Portland Beavers fans you can get your team back in a few years. I wouldn't count on that if I was the city of Portland you were lucky to get a second chance and are blowing it again. Triple-A franchises are like gold today ask Richmond who had to settle for Double-A baseball now after the Richmond Braves IL left town.
My city Buffalo took years to get our team back to triple-a in 1985. We had to play in double-a for 6 years after having MLB and triple-a since 1877.
It took 15 years to get triple-a baseball back after my city Buffalo was stupid like Portland in my opinion going for big league dreams at the time. Buffalo tried in the late 60's to get MLB baseball and lost by one vote to Montreal. Montreal and San Diego got the MLB teams and we got nothing and lost our triple-a team in 1970 due to neglect of our stadium which was dumb move on my city Buffalo part.
We never built the NFL/MLB dome stadium having to settle for what is now Ralph Wilson Stadium where the present NFL Buffalo Bills play a one sport facility instead of a multi sport dome stadium that would have been only the second dome in existence at that time Buffalo missed the boat badly on that one long story you can read articles on the internet if interested but we should have built the dome and regret it to this day.
Anyway Buffalo thinking they would get MLB because in 1970 we already had NFL, NHL and NBA remember this was before Buffalo lost all there industry and we were a much bigger city like what some in Portland think and act now. We thumbed our noses at triple-a baseball like some are doing in Portland we wouldn't build the Buffalo Bisons IL even rentavations at stadiums around the Buffalo area to bring them up to triple-a standard in the late 1960's and in June of 1970 we lost our baseball team to Winnipeg.
I was born in 1967 so I grew up alot of my young childhood with no baseball in my city between 1971 to 1978 we had no baseball. Baseball came back in 1979 with the Buffalo Bisons EL Eastern League double-a baseball and also Buffalo got one of my favorite teams I miss in Buffalo the Buffalo Stallions MISL Major Indoor Soccer League in 1979. We got the Buffalo Stallions MISL to replace another of my favorite teams I miss the Buffalo Braves NBA I was in there Junior Braves kid club as a kid that had moved to San Diego after 1978. The old Buffalo AUD needed a second tennant at that time with the loss of the Buffalo Braves NBA. So at 10 years old I lost my Buffalo Braves NBA and at 11 years old my city got baseball back and indoor soccer teams and I became a fan of both teams. I miss the Buffalo Braves NBA and Buffalo Stallions MISL that left after 1984 to this day.
So I understand loss and I think many Portland Timbers NASL fans from the 1970's and 1980's should remember that loss more than anybody and how it felt and be a little more sensitive to the Portland Beavers PCL fans because what I have been reading on the Oregonian newspapers blogs isn't right who care about triple-a baseball? What is that all about Portland that would scare me if I am MLS league officials that a sports fan in Portland can just be so negative on a team like that. I telling you as a sports fan that deal isn't a good one for Portland I know reading this play out in my city in the late 1960's early 1970.
Merritt Paulson should have said you take the Portland Timbers MLS with the Portland Beavers PCL or get lost. MLS shouldn't be dictating how Portland does bussiness in my opinion. This isn't a soccer issue for me that I find troubling for your city. I think it is very strange and in todays Buffalo that would never happen. Because people like myself appreciate the value and honor of having triple-a baseball in Buffalo.
I want to leave Portland fans with this if you think it is a great deal and who cares about the Portland Beavers PCL. I live in Buffalo with two major league franchises and Buffalo realizes the value of the Buffalo Bisons IL and triple-a baseball. We are all looking forward to the triple-a all-star game in 2012 again in Buffalo. I would never give up the Buffalo Bisons I love the team to much. Something is wrong in Portland in my opinion the fans there let a very good Portland Lumberjaxs NLL indoor lacrosse team who my Buffalo Bandits NLL beat in the 2008 NLL Champions Cup Championship finals leave town and most of Portland acted like it is no big deal they left town.
Now the Portland Beavers PCL could be moving and again many act like no big deal they left town strange to me. If the Buffalo Bandits NLL and Buffalo Bisons IL moved in a three year window the town would go nuts with anger. Buffalo averages over 16,000 for NLL lacrosse games this year so far in 2010. And over 8,000 for the Buffalo Bisons IL games in 2009 with the worse team record wise in both triple-a leagues both the IL and PCL we would have had the worse record and I would never dream of letting the Buffalo Bisons IL leave for any sport team to come to Buffalo.
I just find it strange what is going on in Portland. Fans of those two teams are welcome to become Buffalo baseball and lacrosse fans both our teams games are televised online on the teams websites so you can follow them. I am sorry about your cities losses of sports franchises and the few fans in your city that don't care. Let's Go Buffalo
Portland has either been within the old PCL's effort to gain major league status, or several stadium proposals in the second half of the 20th century, to the effort to bring the Montreal Expos to Portland in 2003. People feel Portland is the business end of the Oregon Trail, not a farm club for San Diego. Thing is, this iteration of Portland believes that without wanting to make a lot of public investment into a facility in order to make it happen.
Once the Beavers left Vaughn Street Park for Multnomah Stadium (renamed Civic Stadium in 1966, renamed PGE Park in 2001), they have not remained there more than 16 years in any one incarnation. Simply, it's been too big for the PCL ever since MLB moved west. Additionally, your choices in baselines are either the Oakland-like 3rd base line curve or walking a bit more from the 20th Avenue entrance, with seating not exactly angled for baseball.
Moreover, the vast majority of the positive news in the stadium for 5 years now has happened because of the Timbers. Timbers Army has this thing for recruiting people who recruit people. Baseball fans simply haven't been showing up. If you want to throw the announced attendance numbers into the fray, look at pictures posted at bojack.com; it's not happening for the Beavers.
Portland simply needs a new ballpark. It may still happen in Beaverton... there's talk of an urban renewal area being created. It's just not going to happen at, well, whatever name replaces PGE Park.
I don't like any league in any sport to tell a city how it should do business. You didn't see Seattle giving up the Seattle Mariners MLB for the Seattle Sounders MLS. Yes I understand the Mariners are MLB but you get the point with the problem I have with this as a sports fan. Portland is setting a bad example and I hope it is a isolated case. Because you don't want a league to be able to tell a city you can have this inless this team is gone. If you think about what I am saying I am right about this issue.
Giving away the Portland Beavers PCL to another city doesn't get you closer to MLB baseball in my opinion. No matter how you cut it the deal is a bad one for Portland baseball fans. To sugar coat doesn't make it right in my opinion. Portland has to wake up you aren't getting MLB anytime soon. Just because Portland talked to the Montreal Expos means very little. Buffalo and Bob Rich talked to the Montreal Expos in the early 90's after we lost the expansion MLB to Miami and Denver. To be fair half of America talked to the Montreal Expos about moving that doesn't mean your a MLB city.
Look I think Portland is short sighted about this not caring about the Portland Beavers PCL and down the road I think Portland will regret giving away there triple-a baseball team when there is no baseball game to attend in 2011 in Portland when it is a nice day or night in June, July and August.
While everywhere in America there celebrating the Americas pasttime. Portland pounder do you really think Portland fans are all going to be happy with 20 MLS home games and oh I think were going to get a MLB team soon. I personally would think that stinks as a sports fan all thoses days and nights of 72 home baseball games gone from a city that is crazy thought process.
Buffalo is a better baseball town then Portland but you don't see our fans thinking were to good for triple-a baseball. If MLB ever came to Buffalo great but until then IL is the next best thing. Also keep this in mind you mention Portland doen't like being a farm club to San Diego and you too big for the PCL. Portland needs to do alot more then talking about what they want and more showing up at games if they want to achieve that desire.
Look Buffalo is more MLB ready then Portland. Look at the top 10 Minor League attendances of all time Buffalo is on most of the list including one year we drew 1.2 million for the Buffalo Bisons. Yet our fans are proud to be Buffalo Bisons IL fans. Triple-a baseball IL and PCL and the AHL hockey are good leagues that cities shouldn't thumb there noses at.
Buffalo is a NHL city now for years with the Buffalo Sabres but we came up through the AHL with the Buffalo Hockey Bisons with the Pepsi Cola like logo but where pepsi would go the cities name Buffalo was. They left when I was two years old but there is pride in my city for that team. When we took the old AUD down some of the old Buffalo Hockey Bisons came back to sign autographs as Buffalo sold old AUD seats for a plack to remember the old AUD at the site.
Summing it up Portland Beavers mean alot to triple-a baseball fans like myself because of there history. MLS has no right to kick franchises out of stadiums. And lastly Civic Stadium was fine for the Portland Beavers.
I read in Portland owe Civic Stadium is to big that is nonsense. Buffalo's Coke Cola Park holds 18,000 plus and is the only double decker stadium in the IL and fans still go like myself and it was built to be expandable for MLB baseball that is why it is so big yet we still fill it on friday nights and on July 4 weekends you never can have enough seats so that augment isn't valid to me.
If you have more seats and sell more tickets you have more control as a triple-a baseball club ask the Buffalo Bisons IL with the New York Mets. We are loaded talent wise this year because if the New York Mets didn't put a better product on the field from 2009 when we were in last place in both the IL and PCL they were afraid of getting the boot out of Buffalo.
Money talks in baseball go to the games in Portland then you will get more control like a big league club. Buffalo Bisons IL bring fans nightly and won 3 championships in a 10 years span. See Portland has to use its muscle as a big size city and show up to games not talk about desires show up make baseball take notice booting out the Portland Beavers PCL in my opinion makes me wonder there is something wrong in Portland they can't even support PCL baseball see what I mean it isn't going to get Portland closer to it's goal if that is what Portland wants.
If Portland Beavers PCL were getting 700,000 or 800,000 the San Diego Padres would notice to give you a better product or you boot them and find some MLB team that would put a decent product on the field. But it starts with the Portland sports fan have to show up for baseball numbers like what we have in Buffalo. I feel very bad for the city of Portland because fans there have lost site of what is important which is baseball. Baseball is great weather it is A ball or Triple-A ball or MLB and that is truely sad. Portland has a chance of no longer having any baseball in 2011 what a shame. Let's Go Buffalo
Timbersoccer fan. He could care less about the Beavers.. You are correct about the Portland situation. It is a crying shame what the city and Merrit Paulson did to baseball, all for crummy MLS soccer which is FAR from major league in any way. The Beavers home in Portland has been Multnomah Stadium(Civic Stadium, PGE Park) for 50 years and to do what they are doing without a care in the world about the Beavers is CRIMINAL imho! I have no alternative here to watch baseball next year. Drive 50 miles to watch short season class A ball or 170 miles to Seattle which I already do 3-4 times a year. History will show that this decision will be a poor one, that will not make any money for Paulson, that the remodel will be inadequate for soccer and will probably be redone again in 10 years to reconfigure for baseball..
Portland goes from having two healthy teams in PGE Park. To spending taxpayers money on a redone PGE Park for only soccer which in turn kicks out the Portland Beavers baseball team. In my opinion the city of Portland should have there heads examined. Your using taxpayers money and booting out your baseball team that makes no sense what so ever. I am just glad my city of Buffalo doesn't do crazy stuff like that.
NASL soccer and PCL baseball is fine to me there was no need to do all this to get MLS. If MLS wanted Portland so bad make them do it with the Portland Beavers staying and without taxpayers money. If MLS soccer is such a good deal do it with private money it sounds like a money loser for the Portland taxpayer.
Portland if you ask me just got riped off in my opinion. Again I am sorry for your loss bluetwinbill of your baseball team the Portland Beavers and the money out of your wallet that is going to fund the stadium remodel which in my opinion is a mistake. It was just remodel not long ago I seem to recall and then if memory serves me got in some finacial trouble from the last remodel so your going to remodel again? Sounds like a waste of money to do more remodeling just keep it the way it is.
I have a feeling your right bluetwinbill no one in there right mind gives up that many home dates of 72 home baseball games for 20 soccer games the economics make no sense to me as a huge sports fan. Portland is going to miss triple-a baseball when it is gone on those warm summer nights when the whole USA is going to baseball games in every city and Portland has nothing baseball wise.
And I don't believe that it will be so easy for Portland to get triple-a PCL back to Portland. Ask Richmond who had to settle for double-a EL after having triple-a IL. Triple-a baseball teams are like gold today because alot of cities want them because it is one step from the big leagues and it brings people into the city for 72 days of the year. I agree with you bluetwinbill poor decision on the city of Portland's part. Let's Go Buffalo
There were four times as many people in the pub we entered across the street. I think we were there late for trivia night.
Reported attendance was 1,200 or so, FWIW.
I don't even consider it fair to take pictures inside on nights the Beavers conflict with the Blazers. There was 1,100 and change reported Monday night, though the Blazers had a big game against Oklahoma City.