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Thursday, June 18, 2009

City to Portland Beavers: Bye

Mayor Creepy and Fireman Pele have decided! (At least for this week.) PGE Park will be remodeled yet again -- this time for "major league" soccer -- and the Beavers baseball team will be thrown out. Where will baseball go? We don't know, and apparently we don't care. Forget that $30 million we blew on fixing up the stadium for baseball a few years ago -- it's gone. All that's left is $25 million or so of mortgage to pay off.

"I just couldn't in good conscience hold soccer hostage any longer than I have," Leonard said.
"Good conscience"? Randy? Too funny. Notice the imperial "I," too. Nobody else matters. It's all about Caesar.

And so now, an exchange of hostages -- soccer is released and the taxpayers are taken in. By now at least they're used to it.

Comments (34)

Of course, this is a thinly veiled effort to twist the arms of the people of Lents. Now the Beavers fans will be out there pressuring Lents for a stadium. The problem for Little Lord Paulson is that unless he's giving away cheap beer, he can distribute 5,000 free tickets and only 50 baseball fans will show.

Word on the street is that Nick Fish is heading out to Lents to stand with the opponents tonight. Good for him.

How about Hayden Meadows for the stadium?

It would be an opportunity to form a brand new urban renewal district.

Thanks
JK

This isn't a capitulation, it's LLP laying down the law to Randy on acceptable rhetoric and an attempt to defuse opposition. Don't think it's over.

Spending millions to renovate something you just spent $30M to renovate? And we're surprised Sam is facing foreclosure on his own house?

On the upside there will be crowds to see a soccer match.

No surprise. This was Paulson's plan all along. Come in from the east coast with Dad's cash in hand, cozy up to willing dupes, dump a 100 year tradition of Portland baseball and install American Minor League Soccer. Having a barely functional mayor to push around was just an unexpected pleasure.

Mission accomplished. Get in the car and drive home to Lake Oswego to wash the dust of Portland off before cocktail hour. Nice.

?? And so are they still going to let Paulson dictate the renovation details? As in a no-bid deal with his own construction company? That should not be considered acceptible by anyone.

Yeah, it's not the Sept 1 deadline they were as concerned about as they were the impending release of the AG's report on Adams. They had to hurry and cut their losses in case Adams gets indicted in the next week or two....

On the upside there will be crowds to see a soccer match.

Instead of the 7000 or so who show up for a soccer game now, they'll get maybe 12,000 if they're lucky. For 15 games a year or so. Until the league goes bankrupt in a few years.

Stupidity of the lowest order. Let's hope the bond market laughs the deal out of New York the way they did Sten buying PGE.

Those New Yawkers ain't DUM. This way they get the tax-payers on the hook and in today's moronic vernacular it's a "Win-Win" situation for them.
And the " Lose-Lose" are the Portland tax-payers.
Another Stinkin' deal from guess who?

I'm praying for the day Randy says

"I just couldn't in good conscience hold the voters of the City of Portland hostage any longer than I have."


"I just couldn't in good conscience hold soccer hostage any longer than I have,"

That's the first time I've heard Leonard mention his "conscience" in this issue--and of course, he discusses how his conscience is affected by "holding hostage" a giant corporation--MLS.

It doesn't even make sense. It's surreal.

Except that it's painfully clear Leonard is out to help a corporation and a wealthy investor. If that's unclear, all you have to do is:

Compare Leonard's speaking about and treatment of Paulson with his speaking about and treatment of local citizens.

Adams and Leonard are demonstrating a level of commitment to Paulson that is really, really surprising. It's incredibly stubborn of them. Pigheaded, even.
Anybody following the fiasco from the beginning has seen almost ZERO enthusiasm for any of their proposals. That they continue to energetically press forward on something so unpopular, so expensive and so sketchy in such financially unstable times is just mind-blowing. It's just crazy.

I should have read the article the whole way through before posting ... I caught this little gem:

Randy says "HE is holding the soccer issue hostage."

Later, Samadumbs says "BASEBALL is holding the soccer issue hostage."

Baseball, as we already know, is Merritt Paulson.

Therefore, Randy = baseball = Merritt Paulson.

Finally, Sam speaks the truth. This is why people elected him!

It makes perfect sense if you postulate that they owe him (and/or the construction contractor who's already been picked out) something. Then the question becomes what that is.

Hopefully this will make firing Sam a little easier. It would save everyone time and effort if there were also a recall petition for Randy right next to the one for Sam when that is available in a few weeks.

I think Paulson is holding himself hostage now.

""I just couldn't in good conscience hold soccer hostage any longer than I have," Leonard said."

Good conscience and Leonard in the same sentence. Mark your calendars, this may never happen again.

Who the heck knows, maybe Randy will even see a soccer game now that we are on the 3rd or 4th (NASL, USL, MLS . . .) attempt at "pro" soccer.

What if the morons at city hall all caught a clue and just let the free market deal with this stadium nonsense.... really if Nike and/or Adidas which both have big complexes (Nike WHQ and Adi NA HQ) in the metro area won't spring for a stadium with naming rights why the hell should the taxpayers be forced into it?

ep - I don't think the tram was very popular with anyone without something to directly gain from it (OSHU and those doc office towers by the river). Sam is being the intransigent ego maniac that he's always been.

Randy is pushing this stadium crap for the sole purpose of diverting press attention away from the fact he is forcing the city to pay $7-8 a gallon for biodiesel and ethananol.

In case you were wondering ...

"Ethananol" had more Vitamin A than ethanol.

the question no one is answering is - when (not if) the soccer league folds and the beavs are kicked to the curb - who will be around to payoff the civic/pge park debt???? paulson? yeah right...

congrats PDX you elected this group of hacks, not you get to pay the bills for their ineptitude....

I am forever amazed how some members of the city council are able to bend over backward for people such as Paulson (easy to do without a spine, I guess).
By jumping in with Paulson on the latest scheme to re-do PGE Park, they have given Paulson the perfect excuse to sell the Beavers (at a profit, no doubt).
And what will happen when the Timbers are unable to make payments on the new refurbishment? What happens to the stadium fund when ticket tax income drops (losing 72 home Beaver games will have an effect, even with low attendance)? And how will the council resist further demands from Paulson once the Timbers are the PGE Park tenant (other than PSU or high school sports)? Paulson will have incredible leverage to rewrite already favorable terms. Oh well, just as long as Leonard's conscience is clear.

Taking a deep calming breath...I ask who does really care if Portland loses the Beavers baseball team to God knows where ?

As Jack has shown day after day there is minimal REAL asses on seats for the team. How many of you know how many wins the Beavers have in what league ?

The Beavers are a San Diego team not a Portland team. The woeful Padres jerk around their lineup like a fiddlers elbow.

Do you see a bunch a scarf wearing zealots at City Councli meetings worrying about the Beavers ? Of course not !

Here is the Sam and Fireman press release in the next week.

"We respect the no vote of the Lents community on the plan to have a stadium in their midst. Merritt is now more than happy to have an MLS franchise in the city and will be discussing with baseball people a new home for the Beavers. The City feels this is the best outcome for everyone involved in the emotional decision process and I hope everyone can now focus on recalling Sam so I can be Mayor " (PR Flack..don't let Sam see that last bit)

Is anyone else hearing rumors about the baseball stadium being moved out of Portland into Beaverton near The Round? Whatever happened to the large parcel of land where the old Westgate Movie Theatre was near the Round?

I also heard today that the City of Portland is now looking at Cascade Station near PDX, as a way to back out of Lents.

The Beaverton Beavers...cute

I've now heard that Paulson and the City are considering the former Schnitzer, now OHSU property, between the Marquam and Ross Island Bridges.

Paulson is arranging some $450 Million dollars of TARP money to be given to OHSU for 15 acres of the 36 acres with a shared parking structure. OHSU is interested in the plan for sport injury research that will be provided by the stadium. This OHSU money will be used to build their $280 Million Biotech Research building with seed money left over for more biotech jobs.

The City is happy because the stadium will be on the Willamette, next to both I-5, the fund-lacking proposed Milwaukie LightRail line and the existing trolley line. A winner for all.

Also, Paulson has agreed to help OHSU and the City to lobby US Congress, DeFazio and Bowtie for the remaining $350 Million lacking for Milwaukie LightRail. Of course, per the SouthWater Front Agreement, OHSU gets half of all the lobbied money-additional biotech seed money.

Additionally, Sam and Randy will be granted the rights to pick the Milwaukie LightRail Bridge design with this additional money. Rumors have it that the straight tower design (the more expensive), and not the angled tower design, is their favorite choice.

Garage, you may be interested in knowing that the City of Seattle has gotten off the biofuels express because they have woken up to the fact that they are not only more expensive, but also have a greater environmental cost than the petroleum fuels they displace:

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/407384_fuel19.html?source=rss

I know Randy doesn't mind wasting money on stupid ideas, but I do remember him trumpeting all the "green" benefits of his boondoggle. Now that even the Emerald City is waking up to the fact that those benefits are actually negative, think we can get Portland to follow Seattle's lead?

The Timbers will average 20,000 a game for 15 games and 25,000 (or whatever is capacity) for the 5 games that are international friendlys and against the Sounders.

Oh and the league is not going bellyup in a few years. MLS had their growing pains 5 years ago.

lw, most excellent satire. It is satire, right?

They're playing "good team"/"bad team", casting the Beavers in the latter part even though there's really no difference. The Beavers did nothing to cause this brouhaha. Same guy owns both. Both have been playing in the same ball park. It distracts the public from the ridiculous idea that there must be an ultimatum and the options of leaving things as they are or opting out entirely are not possible.

I can't believe we're the City is even considering wasting all this time and money on dispensable sports franchises.

Editing skills are not yet up and running this morning. Last paragraph should have read:

"I can't believe the City is even considering wasting all this time and money on dispensable sports franchises."

ep, OHSU has also offered to provide their Pill Hill parking structures utilizing the Tram as the connection for the new RiverFront Stadium for additional parking for larger weekend events. But they are stipulating that all parking revenue and Tram ticket revenue is to go to OHSU for biotech research. The City of Portland will not be receiving any of the Tram revenue based on their Tram percentage ownership. Tram ticket costs will be allowed to have surcharges for "handling fees" for any of these stadium events.

Additionally, all on-street parking meter revenue for stadium events will go to Paulson within the urban renewal area of North Macadam. This additional revenue is promised to Paulson with the stipulation that Triple AAA cannot be moved to any premises outside the City of Portland for three years.

Also, the 100 public parking spaces under the Strand at RiverPlace shall be used for stadium parking. Its revenue will go to Homer Williams since he billed the taxpayers of Portland $65,000 (normal price for underground parking when built was $30,000) for each parking space under his condos, and the facility has never generated a profit to pay off the debt. The original $6.6 debt and the increased debt from not paying the interest for the past two years will be assumed by the City-taxpayers.


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