Portland Still In MLS Expansion Hunt

Portland Still In MLS Expansion Hunt

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 10, 2007

In news that actually makes me pretty happy to hear, the city of Portland is still in the race for a MLS expansion team. It may not be in this up coming phase of expansion in the next two years but it could be shortly after that.

Even if Seattle is awarded a franchise in the coming weeks, Portland could still make it into the league by 2012.

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson, who is negotiating with MLS to bring a team to Portland, said PGE Park could be updated to league standards for no more than $20 million, much less than the cost of building a new facility. Also, the minor-league baseball club that plays in PGE could be moving out into a new stadium by then anyways. PGE Park woudl be expanded by 8,000 – 10,000 seats and would be more than ready to host a club.

I think for this to happen for Portland they have to update PGE. Also, the owner’s have to pony up the money soon to get the bid by 2012 in-order to beat out some other cities that have a better shot (Philly, St. Louis). I don’t think moving the minor-league baseball team out is a big deal if the city gets the bid either. I am sure the rent would be free and the only problem would be the scheduling, which has been done before (see DC United).

I honestly hope for Portland to get a bid in the next few years because that would just add a great rivalry to the MLS with Seattle. Something the league needs in my eyes, more rivals.