Group submits offers on 2 sites for possible Portland MLB stadiu - KPTV - FOX 12

Group submits offers on 2 sites for possible Portland MLB stadium

Posted: Updated: Apr 18, 2018 08:15 AM
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A Portland group has made an official offer on two sites for a possible major league baseball stadium.

Portland Diamond Project, led by former Nike Executive Craig Cheek, submitted a bid to an industrial manufacturing company in northwest Portland.

The investor group made a second offer to buy the Blanchard Education Services Center, Portland Public Schools' headquarters, just north of the Moda Center complex. PPS officials say they have received the offer and are considering it.

The new stadium would seat 32,000 people, Portland Diamond Project says. The group did not say how much they offered for each site.

The group says they commissioned a study earlier this year and believe the ballpark would create 800 construction jobs, as well as 4,500 permanent jobs in the city alone.

In addition to the ballpark, the group says both sites have room for apartment buildings. 

The group’s management team says they do not intend to ask the city or legislature to create any new programs to fund the ballpark.

“I’d be stoked, I’m a big, big baseball fan,” said Steve Ubiles as he tailgated before the Trail Blazers game.

But Dan Creek doesn’t think baseball would do well in the Rose City.

“I just don’t think there are enough baseball fans here to support it,” Creek said before he went into the basketball game. “I’d probably go to a half-dozen games, but I don’t think I would ever buy a season ticket for a major-league team.”

There’s no guarantee Major League Baseball would put a team in Portland either, although there’s apparently some interest. Last fall, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he’d like to expand the league, specifically mentioning Portland as a possibility.

“It would be a huge boost for the economy, there’d be jobs, it would be bringing people into the city and I think it would be great,” said Trail Blazers fan Linda Kitchin. “If they can sort out the parking and the transportation, then I think it would be great – that would be my biggest concern.”

Others expressed concern about congestion and infrastructure.

“Parking would be really limited, like you’d have to use MAX,” Lois Brosius said. ”So I’m a little concerned about that.”

FOX 12 reached out to Mayor Ted Wheeler's office for comment about Major League Baseball in Portland. A spokesman said, "The prospect of Major League Baseball in Portland is an exciting one. The mayor was briefed on the efforts of the potential ownership group on January 16. No public subsidies were asked for or offered at that meeting. The mayor continues to remain focused on his top priorities - addressing homelessness, housing, and public safety."

Administrators with Portland Public Schools released a statement Tuesday saying the superintendent has met with Portland Diamond Project twice, at their request. 

"The superintendent listened and reiterated our core mission and priorities which focus on improving student outcomes. While PPS is not actively marketing the BESC property for sale, we did receive an unsolicited offer from Trammell Crow Company to purchase the BESC property. The school board has not yet had a group discussion about this offer," according to the statement, which also called the property an "important and valuable asset."

"District leadership has an obligation to ensure that any possible sale of property maximizes the return, in order to better serve our students and fulfill our mission," according to Portland Public Schools. 

Along with Cheek, the leadership of Portland Diamond Project includes former Trail Blazers announcer Mike Barrett and former Oregon State Senator Jason Atkinson. 

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