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Charlie Brown

I think you could put a cozy 35-40000 seat ballpark with unique dimensions at the Post Office site. No island there. . .with great vistas.

Mike M

urbanistically?

I totally need to borrow your thesaurus.

matthew

urbanistically is right.

this plan could be decent. The sea of surface parking is troubling, for sure, and it seems like there is plenty of opportunity for greater density in general. the ball park there doesn't seem like a bad idea, though it would be nice if it could be a park that makes some effort to engage with the sidewalk. this is especially true because larrabee street provides the best means of walking from the rose quarter toward albina/mississippi. it would be nice to encourage greater connectivity and pedestrian life along that entire corridor, especially considering the views.

MAL

I am all for baseball in PDX. I would love to have a National League team in town so I could support them and get a chance to see my beloved SF Giants. That said, this Paulsen plan has some serious flaws.

1. Building a minor league stadium will do very little to attract a major league team.

2. Didn't we already remodel PGE Park for a brand new owner (Portland Family Entertainment) bringing energy and vitality to the sports community, then get stuck with the bill and an inadequate facility?

3. The locations proposed are the right ones for a stadium (Post Office, PPS Complex). If we do that for a minor league team, where would we put a major league team? They wouldn't fit in the new-ish medium size stadium and PDXers would revolt if you asked them to pay for a renovation (PGE Park 1998), a remodel (PGE Park 2009), a new stadium (Beaver locale) and then a MLB size stadium in the span of 10-15 years.

Obviously I am bent on the MLB thing but that is a part of these proposals. They are planning how to build on what we have to bring in bigger and bigger brands.

I am one fan who liked the Lents plan. It brings something extra to outer SE and there is space to make it happen. I don't like the clustered infill of the Rose Quarter but I would hate to see us create a very expensive temporary stadium for a team that in reality is about low budget romance and not about revenue (Beavers).

Aneeda

I agree with MAL re: Lents. Take a drive to outer SE Portland and tell me the City shouldn't be investing in this area.

Andrew

This plan makes a hell of a lot more sense than tearing down Memorial Coliseum and putting up another stadium right next to the Rose Garden. Turning MC into a public athletic facility would serve the dual purpose of saving an architectural landmark that deserves protection while bringing people into the area EVERY DAY. That in turn would make plans for housing and entertainment more viable. In fact, I think an effort should be made to put all the parking lots and garages underground and build mixed-use on top, restoring the retail streetscape that was once on Weidler between Interstate and Wheeler. Maybe PPS could be incorporated into the plan.

There is a ton of potential "urbanistic" synergy in the area: the new streetcar line; the North Portland Greenway trail; the proposed SMART tower; a refurbished MC; lots of housing that would increase density in a location that begs for it, etc, etc. It has to be done right, though, or the decades-old mistake of ripping out the heart of the Albina district will be made even worse.

MarkDaMan

My only concern, who pays for the PPS site? That could go for tens of millions, if not over a hundred million in good times. I don't think our schools are in a position to just hand over such a valuable piece of property for a stadium, even if provided a smaller more efficient building.

Jeff

This latest plan is good - although I would like to see a better orientation of the stadium to try and capture views of the downtown skyline (sim. to the stadium in Pittsburgh) and a connection to the river.

A provision should be made for future expansion. Major League Baseball may not expand for years - but if a 9,000 seat minor league ballpark is constructed with a "site footprint" that can easily expand, we could eliminate future issues (and hassles) of where to construct a new stadium. Simply adding a second deck and minor reconfiguration would increase the capacity.

Now is not the time to be short-sighted. It may be 2013 or 2023 - but at some point Portland will be a MLB relocation candidate and the stadium needs to be easily expandable to seat +/- 30,000.

Douglas K.

The thing I liked about Obletz's stadium siting proposal was that it would make the minor league stadium easily expandable to a major league ballpark if and when we get a team. And yes, a major league team would fit into a minor league stadium as long as the minor league stadium is designed for expansion right from the start. The fields are the same size, and all that really needs to be done is to expand the seating. A "phase I/phase II" stadium plan shouldn't be too daunting a challenge for a good architect.

An expandable stadium could save a fair amount of money own the line, compared to building a new major league facility from scratch. Plus, baseball -- major or minor league -- could use the existing Rose Quarter parking.

The problem I have with the PPS site is that MAX coverage is pretty poor. Even if you put in a new Yellow line station, it's still a 6-7 block walk to the Red, Blue and Green MAX lines that will carry most of the transit traffic. I expect that would be a good deal for any bars and restaurants along the way, but a lot of people would consider that an unreasonably long walk.

I like the idea of converting the Memorial Coliseum into a public athletic center, but the last time the City looked at the MARC concept, it would have required $2 million a year in tax subsidies to operate it. That's pretty steep for a glorified community center. The City shouldn't move ahead with MARC until they can work out a business model that is reasonably self-supporting.

Failing in that, the City should investigate other uses for the Coliseum that (a) bring in a lot of daytime foot traffic, and (b) are revenue-neutral, or at least require a far lower subsidy.

MarkDaMan

It's actually very possible Portland could be back in the running for an MLB team and VERY soon:

http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2009/03/23/tidbits1.html

MarkDaMan

Hmmm, not sure how to post a link? Guess you can just copy and paste the link in a new window.

Double J

Right now that area is an island... and I'd like to see something that activates the space at least 5-7 days a week with destination based foot traffic.

Things like markets, cultural spaces etc. should be looked at as well as these episodic sporting venues. I could see the MC and surrounding spaces activated by dance, theater, impromptu daytime concerts food markets and art.

Maybe even a series of interesting pedestrian bridges that enliven district, while making it an urban square that welcomes pedestrians rather than merely herd and disperse them.

Right now this area does all it can to keep people from lingering. Imagine if it were a lively cultural center too? Artists are like lichens... they can even make seemingly desolate rock come alive. If the city's citizens must pony up money for sports lets ask for culture too and kill two birds with one stone.

I really think we should stop ghettoizing sports and culture as opposing concerns. Episodic and more persitant destinations dovetail nicely... look at the Disney Concert Hall in LA. It has episodic concerts but the building by Gehry encourages exploration from the street and also holds the Redcat art gallery space. That model isn't perfect but I think we could even do better than that model if food, music, and experimental cultural spaces were all used to make that bing/purge zone something teeming with energy more often than not.

Just limiting this discussion to MLS seems short sighted and yes the MC needs a renovation. Often all the arts need is a cleen well lighted space and markets simply need permits... not to say a significant infrastucture renovation wouldn't also be in order to do it right.

jon

why do all the recent plans/diagrams for a rose quarter ballpark have the field facing east? the amazing downtown view is to the south/southwest

here is a schematic plan for a baseball stadium in this location 5 or so years ago by fosler...
http://www.oregonstadiumcampaign.com/stadium_concept.htm
envisions a new max station for the stadium and would be "urbanistically" :) designed

Luke

I am for keeping the Memorial Coliseum as-is, but with the stipulation that the city finally do a renovation on the building. I am tired of hearing people complain about the state of the building. For a venue that gets as much use as it gets without much of any kind of upkeep or modernizing, the Coliseum has held up very well.

It would be a sad day in Portland if we lost the MC. The Rose Garden is functional and fills a need but the Coliseum is a classic and fills a need also. Put the baseball stadium somewhere where there is a large parcel of vacant land, or the PPS building site, just not where one of the most distinct buildings of Portland stands.

anon

It should be saved. It is by far the best piece of architecture in the city...The plan of the coliseum connects the public to the city in a socially profound and engaging way. In my opinion it is the only building in Portland with "balls".

stan

Anybody know why PPS built Blanchard where it is? Looked around using Le Google and found zip. It seems like a weird area to put an administrative complex with the Lloyd District and downtown with plenty of empty lots or underleased buildings.

DK

Yes, please save the Coliseum. It's a fantastic MCM building with much history inside. It's worth some renovating & slight upgrading. As long as the exterior remains visually the same. Great building.

billb

YESSS , save the Memorial Coliseum
For those of you that don't attend BBall games , one orients the stadium for the comfort of people watching the game , not the scenery. Staring into a Southern Sun for nine innings and sweating to death is not conducive to enjoying the game...

Scott

ummm, i know that i am in the minority (on this forum, at least), but to say that MC is "the best piece of architecture in the city" is a bit much, don't you think...that's entirely subjective, most people i know think it's dated and bland...the one time i was inside it had all the charm of a parking garage...sorry. i also have to agree with the above poster about the orientation of the stadium...a view of downtown would be nice...but not if you have to be char-broiled in the process

justin

put the new stadium at the post office blocks...that'd be quite a culmination to the north park blocks, urbanistically.

the yellow and green MAX lines and the streetcar would all be just a block away.

http://portlandstreetcar.org/pdf/loop_fact_sheet_and_map_feb09.pdf

Steve Fosler

It really seems that the focus of the discussion on the Rose Quarter redevelopment is too narrow. One reason that the RQ doesn't work as an activity zone now--and the main reason that simply plopping a ballpark (or anything else) in there won't help in the future-- is that there is no urban/pedestrian/greenway connection or 'flow' between the neigbhorhoods east of the I-5 cut and the riverfront. Not only does the street grid need to be re-established through the RQ, it also has to be re-built over the freeway canyon, and not just as streets but as full blocks of development. Only then can the neighborhoods (commercial,institutional&residential) be stitched back into the urban fabric (sorry for that wording but it works) but the RQ--including a new ballpark at the PPS site--will be part of Something, rather than the island that it is, and will remain unless a much larger redevelopment commitment is made. Our schematic ballpark area concept (done completely pro-bono in 1999 to 2001) was not about "A Ballpark" but about this needed "Urban Repair". The heart of the concept can be seen to the left side of the rendering.

Steve Fosler

Editing addition
The rendering I referred to is at: http://www.oregonstadiumcampaign.com/stadium_concept.htm
Also most ballpark designs have shown the SE directional orientation rather than a downtown view in response to baseball standards which orient homeplate so the batter does not face into the sun. Downtown & River views from a well-designed concourse can spur non-game day uses and functions which would make the ballpark 'alive' all year.

ben

right on justin.

post office!

MarkDaMan

The city SHOULD NOT invest in a minor league stadium when we are also trying to land a MLB stadium. Is there any coordination on this effort?

Is the 'process' able to be slowed down so we can look at all possibilities?

MLS is great, but in my personal opinion, I'd take MLB over MLS. I'd rather have them both...so how do we broaden the discussion to accommodate them both?

ben

a smaller stadium can be expanded for mlb.

Jon

I've started a 'cause' on Facebook to 'Save Portland's Memorial Coliseum' from demolition. Please join, contribute and spread the word.

conspiracyzach

More Nike themepark style development ?
www.youtube.com/luddite333

Ryan_m

The Blanchard site was chosen for its central location, needed for the innovation of the day (1982) the centralized kitchen. This is also one of the big challenges of relocating this facility because now the district cannot provide meals without the central kitchen.

I also agree about the problem of who will pay PPS for the site... This is a district that needs to replace or rennovate most of its buildings during the next generation of school kids.

rwl1776

Major League Baseball clearly states in rule 1.04 "THE PLAYING FIELD: It is desirable that the line from home base through the pitchers plate to second base shall run East Northeast." As far as I can tell, the current alignment of the stadium does not take this rule into account.

Interesting thing is not all new stadiums HAVE followed this rule. I guess the owners feel the word 'desirable' doesn't mean 'must'. Check this website:
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/stadium/ballpark_NSEW_NL.shtml

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