Baseball Stadium Proposed In Portland

Photo: Portland Public Schools Blanchard Building/KATU

Local management group Portland Diamond Project (PDP) today announced it has made formal offers on two large parcels of local, commercial real estate for the purposes of building a 32,000 seat Major League Baseball stadium and large-scale mixed development in Portland’s central city area, according to PDP president and managing director Craig Cheek.

Formal offers were delivered today to an industrial manufacturing company in Northwest Portland, for the property including and immediately adjacent to the company’s headquarters; and to Portland Public Schools (PPS) for the Blanchard Education Services Center, which houses PPS administration, and the surrounding property.

“Our team has commissioned a comprehensive economic study of both sites, and preliminary reports indicate both possess the right mix of infrastructure and proximity to Portland’s downtown, which we believe serves us very well and is a best practice in other thriving MLB markets,” Cheek said. “Additionally, both districts have ample room for multifamily development, which can help alleviate Portland’s housing crisis. We’re planning to pave the way for 8,000 new workforce and market-rate apartments to create a vibrant, walkable community around the facility, wherever it ultimately lands.”

In addition to Cheek, a retired Nike vice president, Portland Diamond Project’s management team includes managing partner and former Portland Trail Blazers announcer Mike Barrett, who also acts as PDP spokesperson; and former Oregon State Senator Jason Atkinson, also a managing partner and the group’s strategic business director. Additionally, PDP has retained Populous Architects out of Kansas City, who has designed more than 20 of the last MLB ballparks built, to design the facility in partnership with renowned Portland firm TVA Architects; and attorney Irwin Raij, of New York-based sports and entertainment law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP, as a legal advisor.

The management team does not intend to ask the city or legislature to create any new programs to fund the ballpark. 

Earlier this year PDP commissioned an in-depth economic study conducted by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL), a leading advisory and planning firm for the convention, sport, entertainment and visitor industries, which determined that an urban ballpark in Portland would create 800 construction jobs and 4,500 new permanent jobs in the city alone, with an economic impact of nearly $10 billion of revenue over 30 years.

“Over the past year we have exhaustively examined commercial properties where we can develop a ballpark for a Major League Baseball team,” Barrett said. “The social, economic and cultural impacts of having an MLB team here are overwhelmingly positive.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released the following statement:

“It’s easy to see why Portland would be an attractive option for Major League Baseball. We’re a growing media market with a booming economy and a rich history of local baseball. But any path that leads from today to Opening Day is a long one. My focus continues to be on addressing our city’s immediate challenges - creating more housing, helping those experiencing homelessness, and maintaining a safe livable city. It’s my belief that city resources should be directed to these priorities. We will continue to watch the Portland Diamond Project proposal as it develops.”

 

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