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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The 'Couv gets a sales pitch

The folks who are proposing to move their Class A minor league baseball team from Yakima to Vancouver, Wash., are proposing that the Clark County public pay 70% of the $23 million cost to build a new stadium. The owners say they'll pay for the rest of the construction and all the operational cost.

They've also got a story about how the place will be a boon to the local economy. We don't believe that, but we do hope the 'Couverites go for it. Short-season minor league ball is great fun, and we'd love to see it. Here in Portland, we're still paying tens of millions for minor league baseball that we no longer get.

Comments (13)

As I recently learned, short-season minor league ball is great fun but the teams don't play to win as its more of a demonstration league where players hope to shine and catch the big break.

That and the starting lineup today could well be gone next week.

Check out Keizer Volcanoes.

Ya got to think it all the way through.

Baseball at Clark College will be the stimulus of economic and residential growth in the Clark College area, creating new redevelopment opportunities for a forlorn and neglected residential area made of of detached single-family homes and lacking a common sense of community. By creating a major tourism and business draw, light rail will be extended right to the baseball stadium which will open the area for mixed-use development and shedding Vancouver's image as an automobile centric suburban planning example. Tens of thousands of new residents will take advantage of this new housing stock that will encourage vibrant growth and attract young, hip citizens and associated businesses in attractive sectors such as high tech, biotech, athletic apparel, "green" technology, and communications. This will allow Clark College to expand to become a full-line university along with the WSU Vancouver campus to become Washington's newest university and complementing Portland State University to offer more educations opportunities and further increasing the need for more "green" transportation, including a new Streetcar Loop to connect Vancouver's new Waterfront district, the Amtrak station, downtown, Fort Vancouver, Clark College, WSU Vancouver, and Southwest Washington Medical Center (or whatever it's going to be called now).

Somehow, I forgot bike paths, bike boxes and green streets...but I'm sure we can fit all those in there too.

the starting lineup today could well be gone next week

That's minor league ball at all levels.

I don't always believe in the benefits of a stadium to the local economy, but I do here. Typically, those who believe sports do not impact the economy believe that it is because the money people spend on sports would be spent elsewhere in the area anyway--restaurants, movies, the arts, etc. But that doesn't apply here. Clark County is notable (to me anyway) for having jack-nothing to do. As a result, a lot of my Washington money lands in Oregon. Baseball (in my case) is a big part of that, though not the only part.

A baseball team here will reverse that. Instead of spending money on movie theaters/restaurants/the arts at home, Oregonians will drop a few ducats here. Clark County therefore gets money it would not have received otherwise.

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are seeing about 600 more fans a game this season and last, and they attribute almost all of it to Portlanders traveling south. Those hardcore fans will come to Vancouver, along with some more casual ones.

For these reasons, I'm convinced that, in this specific case, a ballpark will be a legitimate financial boon to the area.

If this actually happens, the Hamann family will buy either a half or a whole season ticket plan. You just tell us the night you want to join us, Jack.

er, the Volcanoes have 600 more fans per game this season THAN last season.

Now Jack, why would you foist onto Vancouver citizens minor league baseball based mostly on taxpayer subsidies which you rightfully criticize wasn't fair to Portland citizens?

I can't believe that minor league baseball in Vancouver would generate over $10 Million per year economic boost. Sounds like they hired the Portland Convention Center Hotel PR flacks.

"we're still paying tens of millions for minor league baseball that we no longer get."

Yeah, but we have kickball, er soccer that replaced it ... zzzz, zzzz, zzzz, zzzz

Love the math that justifies these raids on the public treasury.

Proposed public investment is about $16 million, which at 4,000 attendees per game comes out to about $4K annually per rear in seats.

For the short season league's 38 home games per year, assuming the $10 price per seat mentioned and the 5% entertainment tax contemplated, the revenue take per seat is about $400 and tax take per seat is about $20 annually, summing to $80K tax receipts total for a baseball season. I bet police/fire/inspections/muni services totally suck up that $80K. But assuming the direct tax proceeds could be used to fully fund the County share of investment, it would take 200 years to pay off the subsidy, before interest.

So there will need to be a tsunami of special event and fuzzy math indirect tax cash flows without offsetting municipal expenses to make this thing work for the government (and oh yeah, by the way people eat, drive, work and recreate whether or not a stadium is built).

One can only imagine how much further the tax revenues would multiply if the stadium were served by streetcar.

Strike the annually in my first sentence above.

"Yeah, but we have kickball, er soccer that replaced it ... zzzz, zzzz, zzzz, zzzz"

Yeah considering sell-out crowds of 18,000 at JennWeld for the Timbers versus the crowds of 400 who used to sleep through Beavers games, I wonder what was the better investment.

But if Vancouver wants to go for Single A baseball(and all 600 fans that might show up for a game unless it's Thirsty Thursday) I say go for it. I'm not paying for it.

The commissioners MUST recall the fiasco with the public/private partnership on the Clark County Ampitheater? We (the public)are eating a big chunk of revenue after we were promised big returns. The Amphitheater has done nothing but limp along with far fewer shows per season than was originally projected. Dumb investment disease, I guess.

I have a whole slew of opinions on whether the funding proposal is a good idea and whether it will have an economic impact.

But, I can say with certainty that my family will be one that will go to the baseball games in Vancouver. In fact, we will walk there so won't add to the traffic concerns.

We'd also take light rail to more Timbers games if we could afford the tickets.

I find it hard to believe a stadium fir a single A short season team in $23 mill, the ones I hav seen look more like high school quality

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