Portland MLS Bid In Doubt Again

Portland MLS Bid In Doubt Again

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 15, 2009
  • Merritt Paulson, MLS Expansion, MLS Portland

I guess Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson is just playing some hardball with the city of Portland now. According to Oregonlive.com, Paulson told Beaverton officials that the future of Major League Soccer in Portland hinges entirely on whether he can find a new home for his minor league baseball team.

So no new baseball stadium means no MLS in Portland huh Merritt?

“Yes,” Paulson responded. “But it’s conditional on finalizing the deal with Portland. And if I don’t get a baseball deal done, I’m not going to finalize the deal with Portland. So MLS will not come to Portland unless I do a deal for a new baseball park.”

Paulson is working on two deals with two cities, which won’t be easy from the sound of it. To me this just sounds like some hardball to get two different cities to do what he wants. MLS has already stated that they plan on having Portland in 2011 no matter what and from the sounds of things the city of Portland seems to be right on board for the soccer side of things.

More than likely the Portland side of things won’t matter for Paulson. He’ll still get MLS in the city but his baseball team just may not be going to Beaverton if a deal doesn’t go through. I don’t see him hanging a MLS bid out to dry over a baseball stadium in another town.

But as we have seen with this bid nothing is as clear as it sounds in the press. We’ll probably continue to see more of this story in the coming weeks.