I got this in my email box today with updates about MLS to Portland. If you have interest in learning more, helping out, or knowing the status of MLS coming to Portland, read below...
URGENT ALERT from MLStoPDX.com
- PORTLAND FIRST CITY TO APPLY
- THE PUBLIC RESPONDS
- MLS GUARANTEES PORTLAND A FRANCHISE
- URGENT CALL TO ACTION
PORTLAND FIRST CITY TO APPLY FOR 2011 MLS EXPANSION FRANCHISE
October 7, 2008 - “Today, on behalf of the greatest soccer fans in America, we submitted our formal application to bring Major League Soccer to Portland. We expect to get a response to our application no later than March of next year. In the meantime, we will continue to work with MLS, city officials and the community to turn this exciting idea into reality for Portland and Oregon.” – Merritt Paulson
THE PUBLIC RESPONDS
ESPN Soccer columnist Ives Galarcep ran an expansion poll consisting of 9 cities in the mix for MLS expansion. Likely due to the great fan atmosphere at Timbers games and the rivalry with Seattle, Portland was the runaway winner with roughly 40% of the vote.
Portland papers have also picked up the story of Paulson’s submission and readers have commented fervently to some of the online blogs. While there is broad public support for the plan, some commenters have responded with both anti-soccer sentiments that we know exist in this country, as well as knee-jerk reactions to public involvement in the plan.
Independent city auditors for the city and another group hired by Shortstop LLC have indicated that upgrading PGE Park bringing MLS to Portland represents substantial positive economic impacts for Portland. Also, auditors have noted that the initial revenue numbers provided to the city by Shortstop LLC are conservative and may even under represent the revenue that would repay city bonds issued for stadium construction. Paulson has already committed to funding the $40m expansion fee with private money.
We at MLStoPDX also believe that this public/private investment is fair for Portland. In exchange for leveraging the city’s credit which would be repaid with ticket revenues, the citizens of Portland gain economic and cultural benefits, while Shortstop LLC also earns a return on their $40m investment.
MLS GUARANTEES PORTLAND A FRANCHISE IF UPGRADES FUNDED
Publicly available city council communications have revealed that MLS boss Don Garber has promised Portland an MLS franchise in 2011 if the stadium upgrades are funded. The funding decision will come to a city council vote in early 2009.
URGENT CALL TO ACTION
We are almost there, but the public campaign continues up until the city council vote in January. So if you support bringing MLS to Portland please respond to as many of these reports with positive Letter to the Editors and comments if there is a blog posting
3 Key messages
1) We are Soccer City USA and this is an incredible opportunity to bring a second Major League franchise to Portland while simultaneously bring much needed investment to the Lents neighborhood.
2) The proposal is not asking for significant taxpayer dollars but instead for the City of Portland to help finance the construction and renovation of PGE Park and the new Beavers Ball Park. These bonds will be paid back through ticket sales and rent on both stadiums. This is a win-win situation.
3) The time is now. We have a owner who is putting his money where his mouth is to the tune of $40 million dollars to bring a MLS team to Portland. We have a jewel in the heart of a magnificent city in PGE Park. We have a rabid soccer fanbase in Potland. Portland can truly be Soccer City USA if we seize our opportunity.
Paulson pushes for Major League Soccer franchise (Portland Business Journal http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2008/09/01/daily15.html)Portland launches campaign to lure MLS (Associated Press via SI http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/soccer/09/03/bc.soc.portland.mlsbid.ap/)Portland Pushes for Major League Soccer (KOIN [url=http://www.koin.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=30d26780-61e1-4606-9fb2-71cfd2f0890d)Campaign]launched to lure major league soccer to Portland (KATU http://www.katu.com/news/27816509.html[/url])Portland talking about $75 million deal to attract Major League Soccer (The Oregonian http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2008/09/portland_talking_about_75_m...l)Portland Expansion Miscellany (The Offside Rules http://theoffsiderules.blogspot.com/2008/09/portland-expansion-miscellany.html)Portland, hello (USA Todayhttp://www.usatoday.com/community/profile.htm?UID=1e704431d89e7993&plckControlle...)New push for major league soccer in Portland (KEX http://www.1190kex.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticle.html?feed=&article=41...48Nooooooooooooooo! (From the Beer Garden http://fromthebeergarden.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/nooooooooooooooo/)Portland talking pro sports stadium again (Jack Bog’s Blog http://bojack.org/2008/09/portland_talking_pro_sports_st.htmlBringASport2Portland.com: MLS edition (Oregon Live http://www.oregonlive.com/tailgate/index.ssf/2008/09/bringasport2portlandcom_mls...)
Seriously, MLS to Portland would be an amazing thing. Learn more about it at www.mlstopdx.com (unofficial site) or www.mlstoportland.com (official site). I highly recommend getting behind this wonderful effort to get Portland another major league team.
I know funds are tight, the credit market is tough, and there's plenty of competition for funds, but this idea not only builds something for now but in the future as well in bringing the top level of American soccer to Portland. MLS to Portland now!!