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MLS Commissioner Backs Portland 2011 Bid


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EXPANSION: MLS Commissioner Backs Portland 2011 Bid

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

MLS Commissioner Don Garber was in Portland today and had the following to say regarding the current expansion picture:

“We need to make a decision by March,” Garber said. “We want one of the teams to be in Portland."

Our take: Don Garber is a wise man. He as well as DC's Barra Brava, San Jose's Ultras and us here at MLSR, back the Portland 2011 campaign and know that an MLS presence in a city that has phenomenal support for its USL team would be another Toronto waiting to happen. Not to mention the fact that such a move would keep the 30+ year Cascadia rivalry (the oldest rivalry in American Soccer) between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, intact and kick it up a notch.

Read much much more about the goings-on in the Rose City here (http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2008/12/08/daily27.html).

And go here for more information on the overall effort to bring MLS to arguably Americas best "soccer city".

What do you think of Portland as a location for one of the two expansion teams for 2011? Pro or Con, let's hear it.

http://www.mls-rumors.net/2008/12/report-mls-commissioner-backs-portland.html

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Portland needs City funding. Paulson is asking $75 million in financing from the city. The timing for that commitment from the city couldn't be worse. This is not at all a sure thing.

At the same time, I wouldn't be surprised to see a few franchise moves in the MLS over the next couple of years so missing expansion may not be the end of the line if you want in the MLS.

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Until there is ink on paper to seal the deal, I would assume that anything being said to the media is part of the negotiations.

Instead of thinking this hurts the Vancouver bid, the fact that he doesn't mention Vencouver might mean he doesn't think they need his help.

by the way, how long does this frigging process take? the bids have been in for months and surely they have been read. I assume some time to audit the financials is all that is needed before a decision is made.

waiting sucks but waiting while living off tidbits from mls rumours is worse.

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I cant see Portland city officals willing to hand over 40 million to a stadium project not to mention 35 million on top of the 40 mill for a baseball stadium!. I'm sure they will have people up in arms especially in these tough economic times bad timing here for any US city ... I think Paulson needs to talk to daddy.

I think this strictly a PR visit with no hope in hell and Paulson really pissing in the wind.

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I wouldn't set much store by what Garber is quoted as saying in this article. Obviously he would like to see MLS teams in every bidding city but in reality there will be only two lucky bidders this time around. He and his team are visiting all the bidding cities as part of MLS's due diligence on the bids received. He also said similar things about Vancouver on this same junket.

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MLS Commissioner calls for football in Portland

11 Dec, 08 | USA | Clubs ownership & management

Don Garber, Major League Soccer (MLS) Commissioner, pleaded with the city of Portland, Oregon, to agree to development proposals submitted by Merrit Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers, according to the Portland Business Journal.

Garber hopes that one of the last two MLS expansion franchises will be awarded to Portland in March 2009. Other cities being considered for the last two spots are Miami, Vancouver, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Ottawa.

Paulson has proposed to invest the USD 40 million to cover the MLS expansion fee before Commissioner Randy Leonard and mayor-elect Sam Adams. He is hoping that the USD 40 million in renovations for PGE Park and the USD 35 million baseball stadium for the Beavers will be covered by the city. His plan is to repay the city using income from ticket sales and rentals.

There are currently 16 MLS franchises, leaving only two places open under FIFA regulations.

Source: euFootball.BIZ © Copyright 2006 - 2008 All rights reserved.

Article URL: www.euFootball.BIZ/Clubs/6491-mls_commissioner_portland.html

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Public money to build stadiums for billionaires? These days? Good luck with that. Unless some of Obama's massive stimulus money can get tied to that sort of "infastructure" (and I'd be stunned if it did) there isn't a hope in Hell.

I think Garber and MLS are running a bit scared. But then who down there isn't these days?

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^ It would be interesting to see whether or not SUM took a hit due to the crisis, and how much that could affect MLS's revenues.

I believe, though, that if Portland gets the public financing, that they will be chosen over Vancouver. I still believe that MLS will purposely choose US markets over Canadian ones, even if Vancouver and Montreal are seen as larger markets.

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Big picture here guys Paulson is asking for 70 mill from tax payers to build 1 stadium from scratch and to remodel another ... Its a tough act to get money for one stadium but 2 !!! I dont see it happening Paulson knows he has to go big and try to get as much tax payer money to finance these projects and must know in the back of his mind with the economy in the dumps reality must hit home he is not going to get it.

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quote:Originally posted by Footy

Big picture here guys Paulson is asking for 70 mill from tax payers to build 1 stadium from scratch and to remodel another ... Its a tough act to get money for one stadium but 2 !!! I dont see it happening Paulson knows he has to go big and try to get as much tax payer money to finance these projects and must know in the back of his mind with the economy in the dumps reality must hit home he is not going to get it.

Don't forget that PGE just GOT a $35 million tax-funded renovation a couple of years ago, IIRC.

Now another $70 - $80 million?

No way this will get greenlit in time for this round of expansion. Even The Simpsons had a gag a few nights ago where Mr. Burns said the American dream was all about billionaires fleecing taxpayers for publicly-funded stadiums to house privately-profitable sports teams.

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I can remember when you were arguing on Bigsoccer that there was no way MLS could succeed in Toronto. Are you sure that is really what will definitely happen as opposed to what you want to happen and do you know for sure that it isn't just an opening negotiating posture where Paulson is concerned? A more positive way to look at things is that MLS don't have to select only two of the bids. If there are four strong bids they can always add all four. I find it hard to believe that they will turn anybody away at this point who deserves to be included.

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Hey, I'll be the first to admit I was wrong about the success of TFC. I thought you guys were just fickle... but I grossly underestimated how trend-hoppingly plastic you are out there too!

All kidding aside, my argument against TFC at the time related to my concerns about its ability to attract and retain fans, and reign in the Eurosnobs. Bravo to TFC for annihilating me on that one.

The Portland issue is completely different. Great club. great fans, no question it's a good market, and to be honest, they'll make BMO look like a church bake sale if they get in.

But consider the facts from the perspective of city hall....

Paulson shows up and says, "Not only do I need $40 million in taxpayer backing to renovate PGE, I need another $40 million plus land approvals to build a new home for the baseball team."

Facts:

- The economy is in the toilet with no end in sight

- You've already spent $35 million in taxes on PGE a few years ago

This will be a very tough sell for voters. There's a lot more angry taxpayers out there than there are Timbers fans. There's massive political and economic consequences that are likely to bubble to the surface if Paulson gets the golden handshake.

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I was at PGE Park when Canada played against China in the WWC. The stadium reminded me of Varsity a little, though from what I can remember it was a little better. Was the $35 mil spent on PGE after the WWC or more recently than that?

I was also a little surprised by this line:

quote:Originally posted by Luis_Rancagua

MLS Commissioner calls for football in Portland

11 Dec, 08 | USA | Clubs ownership & management

There are currently 16 MLS franchises, leaving only two places open under FIFA regulations.

Source: euFootball.BIZ © Copyright 2006 - 2008 All rights reserved.

Article URL: www.euFootball.BIZ/Clubs/6491-mls_commissioner_portland.html

Is this based on any verifiable fact? It is news to me.

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quote:Originally posted by greenfield

I was at PGE Park when Canada played against China in the WWC. The stadium reminded me of Varsity a little, though from what I can remember it was a little better. Was the $35 mil spent on PGE after the WWC or more recently than that?

The $35 Mil was spent in 2001, in order to get the stadium ready to host baseball again.

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