Portland Diamond Project makes offers for 2 properties for MLB stadium, development

(KATU Photo)

The dream of a Major League Baseball team in Portland is one step closer.

The Portland Diamond Project, which is headed by former Nike executive Craig Cheek, confirmed they have made formal offers on two large pieces of land in central-city Portland.

The locations are at Portland Public Schools headquarters in North Portland near the Moda center, and another in Northwest Portland at an industrial manufacturing company.

“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.”

The group doesn't plan to ask the city for new program to fund the stadium, which they say will bring $10 billion in revenue over 30 years. The stadium would seat 32,000 people and surrounding development would include 8,000 market-rate apartments.

Former Trail Blazers announcer Mike Barrett has also joined the Portland Diamond Project as a managing partner and spokesperson. Former Oregon State Sen. Jason Arkinson is also a managing partner and strategic business director. The group has retained Populous Architects to design the facility alongside TVA Architects in Portland.

Portland has long been referred to as the site for a future baseball team, but plans in past years haven't surfaced.

Mayor Ted Wheeler confirmed to KATU News he met with a potential ownership group earlier this year.

"The prospect of Major League Baseball in Portland is an exciting one. The mayor was briefed on the efforts of the potential ownership group on January 16. No public subsidies were asked for or offered at that meeting. The Mayor continues to remain focused on his top priorities - addressing homelessness, housing, and public safety," the mayor's spokesman said in an email.

Later that evening, Wheeler issued 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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