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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 18, 2009 8:07 AM. The previous post in this blog was Dictionary check. The next post in this blog is Mayor Creepy to business leaders: What's wrong with everyone?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fireman Randy: Paulson stadium money will fall from sky

When it comes to telling stories that are too good to be true, you can't beat the crew pushing Portland's impending stadiums scam. For those not familiar with this one, let's recap to set the scene. It's a Sunday doubleheader of government waste. We're going to spend $100 million or so of public money to build not one but two new stadiums for minor league sports: a brand new stadium for minor league baseball (a chronically underperforming institution that we already have), and a radical reconfiguration of PGE Park for a slightly higher version than we currently have of U.S. professional soccer, which calls itself "major league" but by any realistic international standard is a cut above bush.

This while we all teeter on the edge of a depression, mind you.

The first whopper that the proponents of the stadiums deal tried to sell the city's taxpayers, last summer, was that the bonds that paid for the most recent re-do of the old Civic Stadium (in 2001) were almost paid off. That was a well documented lie, for which neither an explanation nor an apology has ever been offered.

Now that at least one member of the somewhat demoralized City Council has signaled that he is coming to his senses about the ludicrously bad timing of this boondoggle, another tall tale is apparently needed to save the day. And in the Trib yesterday, we got it, all right, with Commissioner Randy "Pele" Leonard doing the damage:

Leonard assures that city or state tax monies wouldn’t be used for the stadium construction projects, despite what opponents have continued to suggest.
O.k., let's see, Pinocchio. Little Lord Paulson and his unnamed partners are offering no private money for the construction -- none. So that means all the construction funds will be public funds. Maybe I am missing something, but aren't most public funds ultimately tax revenues? Certainly there isn't going to be enough rent from these facilities to pay down high eight figures of debt at the interest rates they're charging these days. The debt service would be many millions of dollars a year -- not to mention the $27 million we're still in the hole for for the last go-'round at Civic Stadium.

If there aren't going to be any city or state "tax monies" involved, then besides rent, that leaves handouts from the feds, the county, or Metro. We haven't heard a peep from any of them about volunteering to pay the $85 million (the liars' budget estimate) for these two pork projects, have we? And if they're not going to be paying, then who is?

I guess if the city borrows all the money from Paulson's uncles at Merrill Linchpin and pays it back later, that's not "city tax monies" in Randyspeak. Perhaps the good fireman would like to clarify his remarks by presenting some serious financial projections, or otherwise leave the future fibs to Paulson and his hired p.r. guy, Don "the Don" Mazziotti.

Meanwhile, it's pretty clear what the game plan is here. The city will slap together some sort of half-baked "commitment" in the next few weeks -- enough to get the bush league soccer commissioner in New York to turn off the car wash machine for a half hour and declare with great fanfare sometime this spring that yes! Yes! You lucky devils in Portland, Are-a-gone, you! You! Are going to get! A "major league" soccer franchise! Just like in Harrison, New Jersey! There'll be some big rally or other in downtown Portland -- maybe the Pink Martini guy will sing a song, the mayor will French kiss the team mascot -- and from that point on The Franchise will be held up as some priceless asset that we just can't afford to let go of.

Shortly thereafter, some architect desperate for work will produce a few drawings of the new stadiums, both of which will be pronounced super duper triple-LEED sustainable, with bioswales, windmills, and a methane recycling system for the chili dog stand. At which point Portland Monthly will interrupt its repetitive listings of the top 100 plastic surgeons in Portland long enough to endorse the deal, and Randy Gragg of Spaced magazine will gush about the zinc-clad beauty of the design, with a sneer toward the people who will pay for it. The Oregonian will continue its Pulitzer-worthy coverage with headlines like "Portlanders say they want new stadiums, but also worry about food riots."

By this time, the city will have run out on the QT and blown a bunch of money on consultants, planners, finance weasels, etc. (Already the city has hired a consultant, supposedly to check Paulson's projections. Gee, I hope it isn't the group that Vera and Sam the Tram hired to go over the numbers on the last, disastrous PGE Park deal.) Pretty soon, Fireman Randy will stand up and announce, "We've spent millions on this -- it's too late to turn back now!" It'll be the same straight-faced spoof as in his notorious Adrian Chen video, except that no one will laugh at the end.

They'll draft up some kind of contract in which it looks like a Paulson shell company is on the hook for part of the debt; there'll be a ticket tax and a hot dog wrapper surcharge; the state will give up the income taxes on the soccer players' salaries, yada yada yada. But the city will wind up guaranteeing tens of millions, just as it did on the private theater company's debt for the Armory deal. And in the end, the taxpayers will wind up footing the bill when the soccer league, The Franchise, or both, inevitably fold up the tent and go under. This is what is known as a "public-private partnership."

Amanda Fritz will then preach to us that, speaking as a psychiatric nurse with decades of experience, she thinks we need to forgive Paulson. Hoffman Construction or some other denizens of the Arlington Club will have banked a nice multi-million-dollar profit on the project, which will keep the downtown business set from raising too much of a stink about it. Somewhere in there, there ought to be a commission for the Portland Family of Funds (Don Mazziotti, board member). All told, another small step for City Hall, another giant leap toward Chapter 9. Go by streetcar!

Comments (51)

That they're even discussing this proves that they live in a different reality.

Giving millions of dollars to a millionaire, who's millionaire dad has been a key player in the implosion of our financial system that is still underway.

This council is NUTS.

Jack, you are so right in how this is going to go down. This should be stickied as a checklist for us to follow.

Love this idea - "...methane recycling system for the chili dog stand..." I believe Detroit could provide 35% of the nation's electrical load with such a system.

A very articulate and impressive piece! I hope it persuades the MLB/TAB Task Force. I don't hold out much hope for the City Council, except for Nick Fish.

I just want to add that there was an AP article in the sports section of the Sunday O that covers the effects the recession is having on major league sports in Michigan. Ticket prices are being cut/fans who have already bought tickets are staying home to watch games on TV in order to save the money they would have spent on gas, parking and concessions/ticket and concession packages are being sold (4 seats, 4 hot dogs and 4 sodas for $99 to see the Pistons play) and promotions such as gas or grocery store gift cards given with ticket purchases. This is most likely what will happen in Portland when the proposed stadia open if they are built. The economy is still spiraling downward and no end is in sight.

Here a link to the article in another publication:

"Empty Seats a Sign of Recession's Presence"

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/wire/chi-ap-meltdown-missingfans,0,1325089.story

You seem to have forgotten that PGE Park and both prospective baseball sites are publicly owned. In my world, landlords customarily put up some cash to pay for renovations.

What if the Multnomah Athletic Club still owned the stadium?

Leonard assures that city or state tax monies wouldn’t be used for the stadium construction projects, despite what opponents have continued to suggest.

That's because in Randyland, Urban Renewal money is not city or state tax money, it's something else.

I am so relieved that Commissioner Leonard has been able to determine this far in advance that the revenues generated by the project will pay all the bond principal and interest, such that no city or state tax dollars will be needed.

Since there is no risk, I am sure that Commissioner Leonard will volunteer to personally guarantee payment of the bond principal and interest. After all with his Fire Bureau and Legislature pensions and his City Council salary, the Commissioner can certainly affpord it. Lr

Commissioner....?


Commissioner....?


Commissioner....?

We are all waiting for ypou to step up and put ypur financial future on the line where you want to put the City's.

And if ypu are unwilling to do that with your assets, don;t do it with the City's/

Leonard had "determined" that all of South Waterfront was a toxic wasteland in need of $288 million Urban Renewal money and the big Tram plan, in order for anything to happen there,,,ever.

He has knee jerked out so many wrong headed perceptions he needs a new label.

So let's just call him the "Determinator".


There's a science fiction quality to this that's been overlooked. You know how the initial pod gets buried in the ground in a steaming wreck after the fireball is seen hurtling across the sky? That's the original Civic Stadium project. Then as the horrified townspeople look on the creature in the pod oozes out and starts splitting apart mitosis-style until two of the slimy beasts are formed: One soccer-only and another for the new minor league team.
As the townspeople flee in panic, it all comes to life. All the spending projects swell up and burst, and when the disgusting ooze has drained away there are two condos where once only one stood.
It's a bad B-Movie: "Plan 9 from the City Council!"

Suppose the voters elected to dissolve the city or the city filed for bankruptcy, which would have a higher priority: safety worker pensions or payment on bonds for a stadium?

And where would the money come from, if any: i.e., from which alternative taxing authority?

Ben says: Leonard had "determined" that all of South Waterfront was a toxic wasteland ...

It's even worse.

Leonard thought the Tram [... rimshot ...] and other SoWa stuff was a bad idea. Then he went down there and kneecapped the developers into paying "prevailing wages." All of a sudden, SoWa was a little piece of Randy's heaven.

Bravo! That was amazing! Somebody needs to read this into the public record at the next city council meeting.

Amanda Fritz will then preach to us that, speaking as a psychiatric nurse with decades of experience, she thinks we need to forgive Paulson.

It's a bad B-Movie: "Plan 9 from the City Council!"

These are my favorites from this conversation so far.

Is there any step in this process that's vulnerable to a referendum movement?

I would think that there are a ton of unemployed people who would gladly volunteer some time to gather more than enough signatures to put this to a vote that would stop this scam.

Or you could just do a whole slate recall of all council members who promote this monstrosity.

I must say it makes a nice contrast: closing schools weeks early while city shovels money at multimillionaire scion of billionaire who helped organize the gang rape of the entire US Treasury.

Bravo! That was amazing! Somebody needs to read this into the public record at the next city council meeting.

Ditto! Great piece!

I am guessing that Leonard was not present at the January 13 Stadium Task Force meeting, where the necessity of spending public monies on these pipe dreams was quite a salient point. The ideal situation, in the view of the outside consultants brought in to testify, was a property tax millage to back the bonds that would be necessary.

More often than not, I find myself in agreement with the good commissioner, but his disingenuousness in this instance is puzzling, and very disappointing.

A bill has been introduced in the current legislative session to authorize the state to tax the income of MLS players to pay off bonds. No such authority now exists (unless the bill has already passed and been signed into law). So, the legislature and the governor have the ability to kill this deal, or at least top force Paulson and friends to cough up more money.

MLS/3A Task Force notes from January 6, 2009 meeting at link below.

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:4mJ4CVLbBR8J:post.portlandmercury.com/images/blogimages/2009/01/22/1232696776-meeting_notes_2.pdf+Portland+task+force+public+meeting+February+24th&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us

(I've got to run now, so maybe someone else can find the bill and check the status).

Good post excepting that article you link to for supporting evidence the MLS is in the crapper. I would guess it was the result of a quick Google search, as an article from a Chinese source quoting owners of football and hockey franchises that MLS won't succeed is pretty lame.

From what I've read MLS is currently expanding and giving at least the NHL a good run for it's money. Football, basketball, baseball and... soccer? Maybe.

Hell, if baseball keeps Sellig on as commish for a few more years they might overtake needle-ball as America's pastime.

Oh, and Mr. Hopeful that article you link to actually could be supporting the case for cheaper sports like MLS and farm league baseball. $10 ticket to PGE Park on "Thirsty Thursdays" is the best deal in town.

That said, I'm no fan for bazillions of public money to be spent. Even w/o the current economic conditions they should have dropped the baseball stadium from the plan and done PGE Park in phases.

That the city council is even considering these plans given our economic climate is mindboggling.

The public should definitely be allowed to vote on whether either project goes forward at all.

It's been shown again and again that the owners of major and minor league sports teams, once in position, extort more money than they ever contribute. Just look at the new Yankee Stadium shenanigans in New York.

Years ago when I was younger I followed major and minor league sports avidly. Since that time owners have uprooted and moved teams hither and yon when they don't get what they want from a city, leaving the city holding the bag.

Cities scramble pathetically to pony up money for more tax breaks, new stadia, etc. etc. because they have already poured so much money into the teams that they have fallen into the belief that the city cannot live without them.

There simply isn't the fan base to support a "major" league soccer team in Portland.

We couldn't even keep a hockey team going and I liked the Buckaroos!

Good post excepting that article you link to for supporting evidence the MLS is in the crapper. I would guess it was the result of a quick Google search, as an article from a Chinese source quoting owners of football and hockey franchises that MLS won't succeed is pretty lame.

The article in question is from Reuters and it appeared in publications around the world. And it doesn't quote any owners of "football and hockey franchises"; among the people it quotes is the former president of a company that owned a baseball and hockey franchise, but who is now a professor of sports management. Meanwhile, MLS television ratings were down this past year vs. the previous year and are one-quarter what they were a decade ago. Meanwhile, in 2008, half the teams in the league saw a decline in average attendance, and the league’s average attendance fell 1.8 percent.

Another brilliant post that proves that what this town really needs: Mayor Bogdanski!

It's going to go down in flames. Even the NBA is going to lose a few teams, much less a sketchy project like "major league" soccer.

$10 ticket to PGE Park on "Thirsty Thursdays" is the best deal in town.

If the new stadiums are built, do you think the ticket prices will stay at their current levels? If so, you're pretty much conceding that tax dollars will be needed.

Brilliant rant JB , the funding needed can come from the Thirsty Thursday Crowd , seriously ! They pack the place w/ cute young'uns. No one checks ID's , and it is a parteee. Let's throw in a GanJaa Free Zone and tax the H out of fun!

We could tax the players every time they roll around on the ground, crying and pretending to be injured.

> do you think the ticket prices will
> stay at their current levels? If so,
> you're pretty much conceding that tax
> dollars will be needed.

No, I'm just saying that there are cheaper tickets than NFL/NBA in town and some families might want to downgrade with the current state of the economy. That might drive growth toward "bush league" sporting events, like it's driving growth at Walmart.

> Meanwhile, in 2008, half the teams in
> the league saw a decline in average
> attendance, and the league’s average
> attendance fell 1.8 percent.

You'd have to compare with other major league stats to get a complete picture. MLS is the only league I know of that is expanding teams. Also you are cherry picking stats as the article also says they have record attendance of 3.46 million in 2008, and the stat you quoted also says that 1/2 the teams increased their average attendance. Not bad.

> There simply isn't the fan base to
> support a "major" league soccer team in
> Portland.

I hate to be the only one in the room wearing a target, but I'd also like to point out that the ave attendance for a Timbers game is greater than the average MLS team. We already have the fan support, that has never been the issue.

Plenty of real issues to pick at with this deal w/o focusing on the fake ones.

> We could tax the players every time they
> roll around on the ground, crying and
> pretending to be injured.

There aren't enough Italian players in MLS to make this profitable. (HA!)

Besides, you've never seen an MLS game if you think mugging for fouls is a good tactic in that league.

Trains, trams, street cars,AND stadiums!
OH MY!!!
I may sick up!
This city council is truly nuts!

Okay. House Bill 2531 was referred to the Oregon House Committee for Sustainability and Economic Development on February 10th.

I don't know what the timeline for the PGE Park renovations are, but the bill prohibits the transfer of tax monies from soccer player salaries before July 1, 2011.

Have a look!

http://landru.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measures/hb2500.dir/hb2531.intro.html

"Leonard assures that city or state tax monies wouldn’t be used for the stadium construction projects, despite what opponents have continued to suggest."

Randy says that all the time, because it keep the sheeple quiet.

"Already the city has hired a consultant, supposedly to check Paulson's projections. Gee, I hope it isn't the group that Vera and Sam the Tram hired to go over the numbers on the last, disastrous PGE Park deal.)"

That'd be a laugher if it included Mark Gardiner. The guy who used to do budget for Vera and thought he and Glickman Jr were going to be minor league impresarios in PGE Park.

Another whopper, Randy is "interested" in Paulson personally guranteeing the loans. Does he really think Paulson is stupider than his highness?

Besides what does Randy know about budget, he designed the PFDR after all so his grasp on basic mathematical concepts is tenuous at best.

The only thing MLS is playing profitably are the local village, er, politicians.

MLS is the biggest Ponzi scheme since Madoff. Each time MLS sells a new franchise the price goes up $20M and the original guys split the pot.

Gene~

The problem with publicly advertised attendance numbers is that they do not reflect ticket sales nor attendance counted through turnstiles, but the aggregate of the number of tickets sold plus the number of tickets given away. A study someone linked here a while back showed actual paid attendance was as low as 30% of the stated attendance figures.

As the CoP is collecting taxes on how many tickets are being sold, that figure might be a public record. We may be able to find the actual number of paying soccer fans. Right now, that figure is not available publicly.

We've got to get these stadiums built so we can move on to the cricket stadium in 2010.

If and when the Balzers move to Seattle the Rose Garden will be available. Besides there such booming night life in the Rose Garden area that it'll make the perfect example of how things should be done. Right?

A cricket stadium for Liz Cheney, and a badminton arena for little Ignatius Rumsfeld.

Go by Bush administration scion!

Gene, you stated that the "ave attendance for a Timbers game is higher than the average MLS team." If that is true then why not just keep the present Timbers that is outperforming the MLS???

I would think that with less hard cost with the present Timbers, that an owner would financially do better the way it is. Right?

It would be interesting to see this group go back to the 1930s, just to read the reactions to plans for Timberline Lodge.

"We can't spend taxpayer money in the midst of a Depression!!! ... Why should we waste that kind of money on temporary construction jobs? ... What kind of boondoggle is this, using taxpayer money for a building that's going to be closed half the year!!! ... They're going to build this thing from logs? That's going to burn up the first time they use the fireplace! ... A giant log cabin? Puh-leeze! When did Lincoln get to be president again?"

One problem with modern life is that there's no room on the spreadsheets for excitement, joy and energy. But who among us doesn't roll the dice once in awhile, hoping to capture the unquantifiable?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/england/7896623.stm

It looks like there are a few British cricket teams that may need a new venue and/or sponsorships: seems that Sir Allen Stanford has left them in the lurch.

Maybe they could use PGE Park to negotiate a public/private sponsorship with little lord Paulson's help. I'm sure Randy will be willing to fall on his sword when that Ponzi scheme unravels, just like the chaps at the English Cricket Board.

who among us doesn't roll the dice once in awhile, hoping to capture the unquantifiable?

The spendthrifts on the Portland City Council have gone for thrill after thrill over more than a decade now. They've gambled the city's finances on the unquantifiable, and come back with the worthless. It's time to put down the pipe.

Moreover, to compare this garbage to Timberline Lodge is ludicrous.

Great piece, Mr. Jack. The Portland electorate, generally speaking, are as complacent as the folks who refi their homes with ballon-payment mortgages and then spend the money on a vacation to see Tibetan monks or climb the mountains of Nepal. But eventually, the day of reckoning will come for Portland taxpayers just as it did for the refi folks who now are without home. Then another example is the whole state of California which is now having to pay the piper for multi decade borrow and spend orgies. The day of reckoning will come to Portland most assuredly but by then the cityhall crew who took advantage of the complacency will have taken their golden parachutes, just as recent wallstreet villians. No justice in mudville.

There is a comparison with Timberline Lodge. That ended up in a horror movie called "The Shining". This will end up as a horror movie called "The Scamming."

One problem with modern life is that there's no room on the spreadsheets for excitement, joy and energy. But who among us doesn't roll the dice once in awhile, hoping to capture the unquantifiable?

I don't. As a youngster, I worked at a race track, and seeing people up close who absolutely LIVED to "capture the unquantifiable" and get their fix of "excitement, joy and energy" from rolling the dice cured me of all gambling desires I might have had. I don't buy lottery tickets, go to Vegas, or give the Indians my money heading towards the coast and yet, somehow, I have a decent life, not without its pleasures.

Seeing gamblers ruin themselves and their families makes one wary of anyone telling others to put down the spreadsheets and live a little.

But even if I were prone to gambling, I sure as hell wouldn't seek that joy with Other Peoples' Money.

And I would never ignore the number one sign of a bad investment -- the salesman finds you, tells you what a great deal it is (despite what that mean old spreadsheet says), and that you have to act fast, or else you'll be shut out of the opportunity because of A, B, and C, and besides, you wouldn't want the Jones' to get the opportunity and you miss it right?

>>MLS is the biggest Ponzi scheme since Madoff. Each time MLS sells a new franchise the price goes up $20M and the original guys split the pot.

If you look at the start-up of other sports leagues and their expansion you'll see the same concentrated ownership followed by a marked increase in franchise fees as the demand slowly catches up with supply.

>>The problem with publicly advertised attendance numbers is that they do not reflect ticket sales nor attendance counted through turnstiles

Granted there's been a few times when I've looked around the stadium in disbelief when the crowd size is announced, but even given a 30% inflation (way too high) we have plenty of fan support for MLS.

>>Gene, you stated that the "ave attendance for a Timbers game is higher than the average MLS team." If that is true then why not just keep the present Timbers that is outperforming the MLS?

Because rather than assuming that it is the sum total of all soccer fans, most use it as an indicator that soccer support is higher than normal in PDX. If x come to a USL game then x+y will come to an MLS game.

From today's NYT: "Last week’s World Cup qualifying match between the United States and Mexico drew 1.2 million television viewers on ESPN2 — the most ever for a qualifying match on the cable channel. Univision, the Spanish-language network, said the match drew 10.7 million viewers — the largest for a sporting event on Spanish-language television.

The final of the 2006 World Cup between France and Italy drew 16.9 million combined television viewers on ABC and Univision, compared with an average of 15.8 million viewers for the 2006 World Series shown on Fox."

Could be an MLS team is a good financial bet right now. Not that I'd put my own money at risk but if the city wants to kick in 65% of the cost...

I hope some of you finance wizards are still checking comments on this post.

According to the MLS/3A Task Force notes from February 3, 2009, Mayor Adams "will lead the process" on the financing plan for this project. So, whatever comes out of Commissioner Leonard's mouth about funding may not mean much, and in fact may be used to distract opponents.

I have some questions about the proposed funding for the project, particularly the funding for the renovation of PGE Park.

There is a "Major League Stadium Grant Fund" overseen by State Treasurer's Office. (ORS 184.408) The purpose of the fund was originally to make "grants" for the construction of a major league baseball stadium in Portland, but an amendment has been introduced in the current legislative session to include a major league soccer stadium. (HB 2531)

The money in the ML Stadium Grant Fund will
come from the state's General Fund. (ORS 184.404(1)(f)) The amount of money appropriated from the General Fund will be based on the estimated incremental personal income tax revenues of players as determined by the Department of Revenue. (ORS 184.404(1)(f))

So, am I understanding correctly that the state's General Fund will be fronting the money for the PGE Park renovation, by deposit in the ML Stadium Grant Fund for disbursal?

A document titled "Potential Project Funding Sources" dated January 20, 2009, which was submitted to the MLS/3A Task Force, does not list the ML Stadium Grant Fund as a source of funding at all. It does reference "MLS-Specific Funding Sources - State income tax on MLS player salaries." (page 2 of document at link below)

(http://www.portlandonline.com/index.cfm?c=49070&a=227939)

If the PGE Park renovation is going to require state General Fund money, why isn't it clearly stated in this document (or anywhere else for that matter)?


"From today's NYT: "Last week’s World Cup qualifying match between the United States and Mexico drew 1.2 million television viewers on ESPN2 — the most ever for a qualifying match on the cable channel. Univision, the Spanish-language network, said the match drew 10.7 million viewers — the largest for a sporting event on Spanish-language television."

Impressive ratings. Much better than those of Major League Soccer ... 0.2 on ESPN2 last year (253,000 viewers).
Fox Sports Channel also had some games. the final game had an estimated 24,000 viewers ... that's a 0.0 rating.

Also, as far as the Timbers' attendance, it was 8,500 per game last year, about 8,000 per game less than the average reported MLS game.

Gene Paulson, your reply to "why not just keep the present Timbers that is out performing the MSL?" doesn't make sense.

Why would a business plan that would cost $40 Million to buy the MSL franchise, $60 Million to remodel PGE Park, higher player salaries, higher club costs, higher debt cost, the $29 Million debt of the four year old prior PGE Park remodeling cost, be a better bargain that you are lobbying for? And most of this "risk" is on the taxpayer's dime.

The only year where actual paid attendance data is available, 2005, MLS on average inflated attendance of every game by every team by just over 40%.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/soccer/20060927-9999-lz1s27goal.html

Every detail given by the Merritt Paulson lobby has either been wrong or based on wishful thinking. No professional sport in an outdoor arena in Portland has ever been a financial success. The banner for the Portland MLS team should be a big red flag.

Merritt Paulson might get his franchise, but Portlanders are not going to sell out every game at the $33.65 average ticket price that Merritt Paulson is basing his business plan on. Three or four years after the MLS team arrives, it will leave. Soccer fans are trading the games they have now for no soccer at all when MLS fails in Portland.

"If the PGE Park renovation is going to require state General Fund money, why isn't it clearly stated in this document (or anywhere else for that matter)?"

Gene, I'm not sure why you are fixating on the tax subsidy source known as the Oregon General fund as opposed to all the other tax subsidies listed, but the item listed as "State income tax on MLS player salaries" refers specifically to State of Oregon General Fund tax dollars to go to subsidize Merritt Paulson.

General funds to support Merritt Paulson:

http://landru.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measures/hb2500.dir/hb2531.intro.html


House Bill 2531

Sponsored by Representatives READ, HUNT; Representatives BRUUN, C EDWARDS, ROBLAN, SCHAUFLER, Senators DEVLIN, MONROE, MORSE (at the request of Portland Timbers)

Expands purpose of Major League Stadium Grant Fund to include financing, developing, constructing and furnishing major league stadium designed for use by Major League Soccer team.


Date: Tuesday-February 24
Time: 1:00 P.M.
Room: HR E
Possible Introduction of Committee Measures

Public Hearing and Possible Work Session
HB 2531 FIRST PUBLIC HEARING: Expands purpose of Major League Stadium Grant Fund to include financing, developing, constructing and furnishing major league stadium designed for use by Major League Soccer team.

JerryB - It wasn't Gene, it was me. I read some of the MLS/3A Task Force meeting notes which talk about things like "state bonds" not general funds, and no mention of the stadium fund at all.

Oops. I should not be allowed post to blogs at 3:47 in the morning.


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 377
At this date last year: 237
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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