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Saturday, May 2, 2009

More doublethink with the Fireman

I love stuff like this:

As late as this afternoon, Leonard told WW the idea was to have a new financial agreement with Merritt Paulson on where to put his new baseball stadium by the new deadline, Thursday, May 7.
Let's take that one apart together, shall we? "A new financial agreement... on where to put his new baseball stadium."

When did the siting of a major public facility become a mere "financial" decision? Only because the city fathers think that means they can cut the deal behind the public's back. After the "financial agreement," committing the city to a location, is done, the affected neighbors will hear the details and have their meaningless "input" moment.

Backroom deal first, public process second -- that's the Portland Way. All fueled by the "urban renewal" scam juice. Go by streetcar!

Comments (24)

Excuuuuuuuse Me?

"agreement with Merritt Paulson on where to put his new baseball stadium"

When did this possible new baseball facility become "his" baseball stadium?

With this supposed May 7 deadline approaching, one would hope that there'll be some transparency and clarification on WHO will OWN the supposed stadium (or would that be stadia since PGE Park is also bundled into SamTram's Folly).

There ought to be a law where if the likes of Leonard are going to put up public money on a venture like a stadium or hotel or whatever, the commissioner would have to put his own networth at risk as well. He loses or gains financially on the actual financial return on the project. Political accountability sure doesn't seem to work in Po town. For the Portland electorate it seems to be a case of "out of sight, out of mind." The electorate is oblivious to climbing city debt level.

Charter and Code of the City of Portland

Title 1 General Provisions
Chapter 1.03 Code of Ethics
Table of Contents (Printable Version)

1.03.010 Definitions.
1.03.020 Trust.
1.03.030 Objectivity.
1.03.040 Accountability.
1.03.050 Leadership.


I'll lead the commentary straight down the gutter and say the obvious: Most of the city would love to tell him (Merritt Paulson or Fireman Pele) where to put his stadium.

Decorum forbids me from doing so on your fine blog.
My apologies, Jack.

one would hope that there'll be some transparency and clarification on WHO will OWN the supposed stadium

Well, read it again. Doesn't the form of the possessive pronoun used already provide you said clarity?

I would add, though, that while Randy's language seems to indicate that the stadium indeed is Paulson's, he doesn't offer much to assure us that the financial risks will stay with him.

Paulson has stated that the promised financial guarantees were for a deal including a baseball stadium on the Memorial Coliseum site. He's insisting that the deal be renegotiated if the stadium will be sited in Lents.


He needs to take his act back to New York.

I doubt that Mayor Bloomberg would have been as accommodating as Sam and Randy have been.

New York bows down to the major league teams, but they would laugh this guy out of City Hall with his Coney Island carnival acts.

Tonight's news had the Timbers drawing a pitiful looking crowd at PGE Park. And if you're used to watching Manchester United, the soccer highlights looked like some fans from the stands.
Meanwhile the minor league baseball team got shellacked by the Reno Whatevers.

I found myself wondering all over again what we're trying to accomplish with all this?
So much drama for so little of anything worthwhile.

There was also a story from Memorial Coliseum showing a deployment ceremony for the National Guard. Of course, for this city council that was the facility usage that mattered least as they push each other out of the way for the chance to accommodate Merritt.

Just another day in Portland politics.

The Timbers' announced (fake) attendance for the evening was 6742. On Thursday, the season opener and a Thursday slacker beer social night, they announced 8549. That averages out to 7646 a game; even at $20 a ticket, that's a big $153,000.

They play only around 15 home games a year, right? That would come to around $2.3 million -- the total gate for the season. To build the new stadiums Paulson wants is going to run a mortgage payment of around twice that. The whole thing is utterly insane.

The mayor says that MLS will put Portland on the "international stage."

Mayor Creepy is too modest. He's already put us there.

As long as the City is going to renegotiate the deal, it should ask for season ticket revenues and paid gate, separated out, for Beavers and Timbers games, instead of the imaginary "official attendance" figures.

One of the stranger aspects of Paulson's and Adams' push for this deal is this nostalgic suggestion that there is total consumer demand for these specific sports, or even for sports in general. They pitch this as though the whole city is a prospective sports fan when, in fact, market research over the past decades has determined quite conclusively that it is a pretty specific, if not narrow, spectrum of consumers that are established consumers of sport. The franchise is named for a city but only a portion of the market will dig deep and spend money on the gate, merchandise, sponsor patronage, parking, etc. And despite strategies to expand the horizons, the sweet spot of the bell curve of consumers that push sports remains primarily—as with the exhibition of movies—males up to 35. Older audiences or female audiences know that their potential purchasing power is all but totally ignored. And sports marketers can tell you why.

Which isn't to say that teams can't also function as Chamber of Commerce champions blowing the minds of smaller markets and bolstering the local economy in unseen ways. Only that sports are no longer understood to be the civic centerpieces they once were. But so what. Neither are zoos or art museums or submarines or old military forts. They are now but one contestant for a slice of the famed disposable recreational dollar. So I guess the tasteless and radical behavior is only strange until one realizes that there is just no bigger slice than sports. Really, nothing else even comes close.

Hey, cut Randy some slack. He's "numb" right now.

Randy is "numb" now.

But he's been dumb since the biofuels fiascos.

When I told my French girlfriend about the "internaltional" part of PDX's soccer plans, she laughed and said Europeans think American football is stupid. The one shiny spot is our women's league, which of course, is not the main focus here.

If we want "international" panache, it would be cheaper for Randy and Sam to buy and sport berets.

Like a wonderful lady named Lisa who posted here suggested.."ONE RECALL AT A TIME!

Mr.Leonard and I have been on shaky ground now for a couple of years.

As a "first responder"..I was drawn to his quest for local office, and felt he would consider an issue of community safety that I have laid out to him.

In fairness to Leonard, the issue would be political suicide depending how you played it...but that's my point with him, he never played!!!!

So while it may have been a tough issue, other measures to control and protect people could be lawfully placed, Randy and Sam,ran from even those possible details, but 400 kids in a grade school...have no place to run.

Over the years..and watching his progress at city hall,I really tried to hold out hope,he was what I thought he was, a man not afraid, one all of us could call on in a "firefight".

I could not have been more wrong, and with his handling of so many things from toilets to diesel costs...to over priced toys(ball parks) and STUPID videos...he needs to retire, and God knows, he has retired in so many ways.

Nothing personal Randy....ITS JUST BUSINESS!

Please retire the pathetic Smokebag on both his pensions, protected as they are by the special legislation he pushed through for himself while dishonorably employed in the Legislature. Even a triple pension would be a bargain to remove this stain, saving the City tens of Millions.

Look... Rant all you want. But, when it comes to getting re-elected all double pensioner Randy has to do is make five phone calls. Just five.

• Firefighters Union (PFFA)
• Police Union (PPA)
• Laborers Union (LIUNA 483)
• City "Professionals" Union (COPPEA)
• City Office Workers Union (AFSCME)

He will get tons of donations. He will have 5,000 city employees ringing doorbells on their "off time." What make sense will not matter. What you or I want will not matter. What is good for Portland will not matter. And he won't care.

Actually, Saturday's Timbers game was a lot of fun. The weather cleared up, the Timbers won 2-0, and the "Army" was in full spirit the entire game. This was the first Timbers game I had ever been to, and the atmosphere (even with 5,000 - 6,000 or whatever fans) was better than most sporting events I've been to lately. Went to four Blazers games this year, and I have to say the fans at those games didn't have nearly as much energy as the Timbers Army. I'll go back for more, particularly when the weather warms up.

The problem that still hasn't been answered about soccer, is where they are going to get people willing to pay from?

Soccer is not a marketable commodity in North America, and especially not Busch league soccer.

For example: They are happy to get 9000 fans on a night where they sell cheap beer, at a stadium in the core of the largest metro area in the state.

The population of the City of Corvallis [b]DOUBLES[/b] when it's a home game for OSU Football. It's a product that people will drive 80+ miles to see, and pay more to get in, to park, to buy crap, etc.

In addition to those 46,000+ people, 59,000+ MORE people drive FARTHER to Eugene to see the University of Oregon play. And buy merchandise. And pay to park. And eat at local establishments.

8000 tickets sold is a joke. If you want to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to do something in sports, at least make it something that people will actually go see. Soccer isn't that.

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