Portland Approves MLS Plan

Portland Approves MLS Plan

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 24, 2009
  • MLS Expansion, MLS Portland, Portland Expansion

It seems like this is a report we’ve posted time and time again here. Hopefully this will be the last.

Portland city council has approved a plan to allow both MLS and minor league baseball in the city. PGE Park will get renovated as planned and the baseball team will get their new stadium.

The Portland City Council on Wednesday passed a resolution to support starting negotiations with Merritt Paulson over a financing plan to renovate PGE Park to accommodate a Major League Soccer team.

The move effectively decouples the $37 million PGE Park project from a proposed new $48 million baseball park for Paulsonís minor-league Portland Beavers.

Both the Beavers and Paulsonís minor-league soccer franchise the Portland Timbers share PGE Park. But because MLS requires soccer-specific stadiums for its franchises, Paulson is pursuing separate stadium projects for both clubs.

But efforts to find a location for the baseball park have stalled, leading to concerns that Paulson could miss his Sept. 1 deadline to secure a financing plan for PGE Park. The MLS team would start play in 2011.

Again, hopefully this is the last time we have to go back and forth on this matter. The stadium renovation has been a key issue with the Portland expansion deal and hopefully this matter is coming close to an end and the club can move forward in those renovations.