SBD/Issue 100/Facilities & Venues

Portland's Rose Quarter Could Land Minor League Baseball Stadium

The Rose Quarter in Portland is "now in the running for a new minor league baseball stadium as the city and the Trail Blazers explore how to boost business in the underperforming eastside entertainment zone," according to Mark Larabee in a front-page piece for the Portland OREGONIAN. The Trail Blazers "wouldn't own the baseball stadium, the city of Portland would." But a new ballpark for the Triple-A PCL Portland Beavers "might complement other development that the Blazers have planned to bring more people to the quarter." City officials met Monday night with Beavers and USL Portland Timbers Owner Merritt Paulson and Blazers execs to "discuss the idea." The city "would need a new baseball stadium if [MLS] awards Portland a new franchise this year" to begin play in the '11 season. MLS "requires stadiums with a soccer-specific design and has said a Portland franchise cannot share space with the Beavers." The city owns PGE Park, where the Beavers and Timbers play, and "would renovate it for soccer." Preliminary cost estimates are $35-40M for the PGE Park renovation, $45M for a new ballpark in Lents, Oregon, and $47-50M for a ballpark in the Rose Quarter. Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard, who is "helping negotiate the deal with Paulson," said that Lents is "still on the table." But Leonard said that the Rose Quarter "might draw bigger crowds to both baseball games and concerts and wouldn't have the parking and noise restrictions associated with Lents" (Portland OREGONIAN, 2/11).

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