Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Funding snag clouds positive Portland vote
by Ridge Mahoney, March 12th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] It seems appropriate that an ambitious plan melding soccer and baseball facilities would toss up a curveball. By a 3-2 vote, the Portland City Council Wednesday approved a funding plan by which more than $60 million in public monies would be loaned so Merritt Paulson -- owner of the USL-1 Timbers and minor-league baseball Beavers -- can build new stadiums for both teams.

However, the council also passed an amendment that removed one of the funding mechanisms for the projects; the establishment of a new urban renewal district where PG&E Park - the proposed home for the MLS team once it is renovated - by which $15 million would have been raised through increased property taxes.

After a six-hour hearing the vote was held, and Commissioner Dan Saltzman sided with the project's authors, Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard, on the "yes" side. Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish, citing cuts in basic services that could result from funneling so much public money into the projects, voted no. The worsening economic climate and a previous renovation to PG&E Park on which the city took a heavy loss has soured some politicians and many citizens to any such outlays of public funds.

All five members of the City Council agreed to the amendment, which leaves Paulson and MLS closer to the finish and with a degree of political backing but still short of money. Paulson for months resisted putting up anything more than the $40 million expansion fee and is already on the hook for more than $24 million, as well as guarantees to repay the balance.

If MLS is to approve the Portland expansion bid, it must either grant the franchise assuming the $15 million hole will be filled, or wait until discussions and negotiations complete the funding package. MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche said last week the league might decide to name just one team for the 2011 season - presumably Vancouver - in the near future and wait on selecting a second.

The other funding sources for the $88.8 million package remain intact. Paulson's share is more than $24 million, with the renovations for PG&E Park projected to cost $33.69 million and a new baseball stadium pegged at $55.095 million. There are conditions and restrictions by which he guarantees repayment of the loans, and all events at both facilities will incur a 7 percent ticket surcharge to help the repayment process.

Not until the city council approves a plan that includes the $15 million portion can it enter into a binding agreement. Paulson has pledged $12.5 million and needs to raise another $11.8 million to pay his share of the projects, in addition to forking out the $40 million expansion fee.

Paulson, who has owned the Timbers and Beavers since 2001, is the son of Henry Paulson, the former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. They have formed Peregrine LLC (limited-liability company) to process the bid.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati    
"Carli's performance was as good as any performance in a World Cup final by any man ...
Awards: Lloyd named top player, Solo top keeper    
Carli Lloyd, whose stunning hat trick led the USA to the Women's World Cup title with ...
Turning Points | It takes an entire team of stars    
In the end, Carli Lloyd was the star, scoring six of the USA's last nine goals ...
What They're Saying: Carli Lloyd    
"I just completely zoned out and dreamed of playing in a World Cup final and visualized ...
USA-Japan takeaways: 15ers peak at right time    
The adage of growing stronger as a tournament unfolds was borne out Sunday when the USA ...
NASL Weekend: Ottawa extends record shutout streak    
The Ottawa Fury opened the NASL fall season with a 2-0 win over Jacksonville Armada FC ...
USL Weekend: Switchbacks make it six in a row    
Miguel Gonzalez scored two second-half goals to lead the Colorado Springs Switchbacks to a 2-0 win ...
What They're Saying: Norio Sasaki    
"My players have given their all in every match, and overall they've had a great tournament ...
NWSL Weekend: Reign pulls even with Red Stars    
The Seattle Reign's 1-1 tie at the Western New York Flash was enough to earn it ...
Video Pick: Gonzalo Higuain strike another awful PK    
Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain had a pretty good season for his club Napoli with 18 goals for ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives