« Mercury reports Rose Quarter developer Cordish has been chastised for strong-arming, racism | Main | The transparent building »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


This is really interesting!


Can we please face the park to the NE like all proper diamonds. It would allow a unmatchable view of Mt. Hood.

Also, AAA ball is rarely telecast beyond the immediate region so the stereotypical view of a downtown skyline really has no "brand" value.

Douglas K.

I think OMSI has plans to expand their campus into part of that space . It also costs them a lot of parking that they can't really spare.

That said, I bet there are ways to work around those parameters -- expand OMSI, provide enough structured parking to get a new increase in parking spaces, and work in a new stadium all at once.

Bob R.

FYI, the planned streetcar terminus for the loop project is right at the eastern side of that stadium -- it diverts from MLK/Grand before the viaduct, using a new overpass to cross the freight railroad tracks and land just east of OMSI's parking lot.



Interesting thought. I'm pretty sure PGE owns a bunch of the land in that area, as does ODOT - who can be difficult to acquire land from. Don't forget that is the area where Hannah has proposed building those futuristic storage towers, and has also been the site of an ongoing battle over completion of the multi-use path connection to the Springwater Trail. How perfectly Portland it would be to be able to ride your bike (without being n the street)to a game.

Eric Cantona

Hanna's project (Portland City Storage) appears to be dead, and his consultant have not been paid. bad form.

that land is a bit further south of this site, anyway.

Lance Lindahl

Not a bad idea and not a bad use for this emerging, but long neglected area.

First some good news, PGE and ODOT has unloaded nearly all of their property in this area.

Unfortunately, OMSI, the Portland Opera, and the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation have purchased this land and have very different development plans in mind.

Derek Hanna's property is located further to the south, and shouldn't be an issue.


The industrial area just south of the Opera HQ would make a fine waterfront location and could extent the development already planned for the OMSI site.

I could imagine some nice tourism synergy between OMSI, the Portland Opera, and the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation and a stadium.


This is a very interesting alternative, for many reasons. But I'm afraid that putting the stadium here would have a negative impact on the success of the Live! initiative (fewer game days in the immediate vicinity), the new convention hotel, and the Rose Garden area improvement effort in general.

Saving/renovating/creating a new use for the MC should be a high priority in my opinion. So perhaps the idea of putting the ballpark in the Lloyd Center parking lot is the best of our less-than-optimal choices. Might be good for Lloyd Center business as well.


Great idea! See how many options are available??? Surely one of these can work. I hope this concept has been forwarded to City Hall.

Douglas K.

To the extent there's concern about success of the "Live!" initiative, the Memorial Coliseum would be a BETTER draw than a minor league stadium. It would accommodate more people (12,000 seats vs. 9,000), can host multiple events at once, host a greater variety of events (stadium is limited to baseball and outdoor concerts), and can host events throughout the year (not just in good weather).

In terms of having some kind of sports facility that can draw a lot of people into the district, the one that's already there and paid for is better in EVERY respect than the proposed stadium.

Next time this question comes up before City Council, it would be nice if someone could go in there with blown-up concept drawing of ALL THE DIFFERENT PLACES this minor-league stadium could go. And maybe a side-by-side chart showing all the advantages the (properly renovated) Memorial Coliseum will have in drawing people to the Live! district.


As David mentioned above, people should be positioning things correctly...
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." The location of the owner's boxes, prevailing wind directions, and a multitude of other reasons have caused rule 1.04 to be ignored by many Major League baseball teams.
However, because the sun itself actually plays a role in rule 1.04, as modern ballparks are "supposed" to be designed & built so that the sun sets behind third base and shines on right field, it would be helpful for the new proposals to meet this requirement.


I like this option very much. However, common sense for stadium design dictates the batter faces N/NE. A SE view as shown in the site plan would be bad for the players and fans due to orientation and exposure. A N/NW orientation, that is mirrored from what is show would provide views of downtown and be beneficial for spectators/players.


sorry.... didn't read the previous posts... I concur


NHL Hockey would sustain the MC.

Also, I attended my first Rose City Rollers Derby this year, which was great fun and was sold-out at the expo center. I suspect that sport will continue to grow and need a larger venue.


So maybe the best way to get maximum activity for the Rose Garden area is to keep the MC for the kinds of crowds Douglas K. noted, put the ballpark in the Lloyd Center parking lot, and build the Live! complex around the Rose Garden (inc. the cool bridge over to the river!).

The Live! project would get the greatest opportunity from three immediate-vicinity sports/music (don't forget the music event component) venues, instead of only one or two. As well as more foot traffic in the general area that could invigorate the local businesses. Also superb transit nexus right there, now. Which will even cover more of the metro area when the Green line gets rolling.

As noted before, Portland has a unique venue opportunity that offers two large sports facilities so close together. Putting the ballpark in the Lloyd lot keeps that advantage, and offers even more with the addition of another sports facility. We could even host some Olympic-like multi-event competition that the proximity of these facilities would provide.

And this could translate into more convention/hotel business as well.


great idea. great location in a position to help out OMSI and revitalize a totally forgotten part of our waterfront. the new ped/max bridge and the extension of the trail and the streetcar loop form sufficient synergy to allow it all to succeed beautifully. that said. i am sure it will never happen.


I really like this idea, plus to add to Earl's comment about the MC being a good fit for NHL, I think it is important to build a ballpark to be able to expand into a pro league ballpark...saying that, it also makes sense to keep the MC for the sake if Portland were to ever get a NHL team because it wouldnt make sense to tear the building down only to have to rebuild another arena for something like that if Portland ever got a team.

It would be a better idea for Portland to keep the MC for future expansions in sports...plus the size of it is perfect for events that are too small to be in the Rose Quarter.


Another plus to the Lloyd Center parking lot location for the ballpark is that, in theory, fewer parking lot spaces will be needed at the mall after the Green line gets rolling. Sort of a green synergy.

Forrest Smith

Thanks for the positive comments and suggestions. Its nice to see the idea getting some exposure. I have also put together a very quick website which can be found here:



The MC will not work for NHL. They need an arena the size of the Rose Garden, about 20,000 seats. When you add sky boxes and more to the MC, it will hold about 9000. Not enough seats. Sorry guys.

However, the arena would work great for PSU basketball.


This OMSI location has potential...just need to make sure the site/stadium footprint is expandable.

With regard to the NHL in the MC, The MC does not meet NHL facility standards with respect to seating capacity, corporate suites (and I believe rink size).

The Rose Garden Arena was designed at the time to meet both NBA & NHL standards. The MC could serve as an NHL practice facility when the Rose Garden is in use..in addition to mid-sized concerts & other middle-tier events.

The two arenas work well in conjunction in attracting some larger events such as NCAA B-Ball Tournament, US Figure Skating championships, Davis Cup tennis and future NBA & NHL All-star games - provided that enough blocks of quality hotel rooms are available - which could be another plus for developing the convention center hotel near this site.


I think this is a good idea - beyond the actual design concept, the biggest thing this idea conveys it that there are other options worth exploring in regards to locating the ballpark. And I think that's the point that is missing - over on the soccercityusa forum, they are bashing anyone and everyone who is against tearing down MC, because they believe that we don't want MLS to come here, which is incorrect. I believe the majority of people want MLS here, understand the significance of it and the wonderful opportunity that it presents for Portland. We just don't feel as those the minor league ballpark is being put in the right location, AND that location just happens to be MC. A new location that works for everyone and allows us to get our MLS team is what is needed - what is not needed is rushing this thing through in the name of 'progress', destroying MC and/or siting the ballpark in a poor location and then having to live with the consequences of acting without thinking for the next umpteen years.


THE UGLY, UNSPOKEN TRUTH ABOUT FINDING AN ALTERNATIVE STADIUM SITE: I'm really sorry to do this folks, but all these rally great ideas about alternative sites for the minor league ball park are missing a key design principle: "Form Follows Parking". I know this is really anti-green; but the truth is that you have to provide some level of parking for a new stadium because not everybody can or will get to these alternative sites by transit, walking or bikes. So, let's do the math: If you said that only 20% of the fans at a game drawing 8,000 fans came by car, you would need 1,600 parking spaces within reasonable walking distance. So let's say, for the sake of argument, that a decision is made to accommodate only 1,000 of these spaces next to the stadium (actually a net mode split of 13%), and assuming the stadium is "urban" and there isn't an 8 acre site available for surface parking (1,000 x 350SF/space), then a 1,000 space parking garage would be needed. This garage would likely cost in the neighborhood of $20M (1,000 x $20,000/space all in (without any related street improvements, traffic signals, etc). So, this adds at least $20M to the cost of any site that is not already served by a substantial reservoir of parking. That's $20M MORE than the crazy amount already talked about for this deal! That may explain why the Mayor is focussed so intently on the R.Q. and seems more interested in tearing down the Coliseum than tearing down the two parking garages on Broadway. He knows those garages would only have to be replaced. What about PGE Park you say? Can you say "40,000"? This is about the number of parking spaces in the downtown core, many of which stand empty in the evenings and on weekends. I think it is fair to say that people have figured this out for bigger events at PGE Park and with the MAX connection from downtown it suffices pretty well. The Lloyd Center parking lots? Do you think the Lloyd Center wants to help meet the parking demand for a ballpark? I bet not. The former site for a new printing plant for the Oregonian on Yeon Avenue. Anybody remember the Costco proposal for that site? Where does this leave things? Not in a very good spot. I think you are really back to a couple of options where you can avoid having to add $20M or more to the cost of building the new ballpark and not sacrifice (dare I say "decommission" as the Mayor said the other night) the Memorial Coliseum: 1) Keep PGE Park a multi-purpose venue and figure out a way for soccer and baseball to co-exist; or 2) take another look at the school district site North of Broadway as there is a reasonable chance that it can share the existing parking that already serves the Rose Quarter. Of course, the latter comes with a substantial premium to relocate the school district, but at least its big enough to accommodate expansion to MLB in the future. That said, maybe the former is the ONLY option. I really hate that parking still controls our life; but at least until gas goes to $10/gal and stays there, or the oil runs out, its the reality.


you do realize the current stadium doesnt have any parking and after a game there is a flood of people that ride the trains to areas that do have parking...such as park and rides.

If this ballpark is next to a MAX stop, then it is safe to say it actually does have parking.

It sounds like you need to try to think outside of expected limitations that we are use to being the norm'.

carless in pdx


PGE park, which will be renovated into the new MLS stadium, has zero parking. Therefore, your theory is moot: the city can cite a ballpark in a transit-rich area and actually get away with limited parking access. They aren't a private developer, after all.

Also, there is room over by OMSI for more parking (to the north), and the Lloyd Cinemas site is right across the street from the massive Lloyd Center parking garage.

Its a slam dunk


Maybe PGE park would have garnered more of an audience if it had even a little bit of parking. Speaking as a parent with two small children, we would often skip games because it was a little difficult with them in tow. We love public trans and take it all of the time, but didnt want to expose toddlers and a small baby to the crush of people on the train, and we LOVE baseball in any shape or form... just sayin'....


I really need to strongly disagree with formfollowsparking. Many traditional stadiums do not include parking, often parking is provided by independent businesses in the stadium area.

Yes, the fans need to walk across the street or down the block to the stadium, but I always enjoyed the walk to the game. The anticipation would build as we approached the stadium and fans converged with other groups of fans. It also encourages neighborhood venues for sales of merch and helps spread the wealth.

With obesity and childhood diabetes at an all time high, we need to encourage more walking.


Really agree with the last comment by Dennis, and I also wanted to say that I also think this is the best idea I've heard so far. I've never understood why the city doesn't focus on tapping all the potential that lies in the Eastside waterfront. Turning that area into residential,retail, saturday/farmers market could be Portland's version of Seattle's Pike Place and would be great for Portland tourism.


Green or not, "expected limitations" or not, the Pacific Coast League requires at least 1,500 parking spaces adjacent to any new AAA stadium.

As far as the site goes, the consultants did an extensive search of every plot of land in the city and they only came up with two other available sites - Lents Park and the Big Pipe staging area in NW.

I would prefer Blanchard as well but besides the costs, I was told that it would take far too long to move the puzzle pieces around to make it work unless you have MLS and AAA baseball shared at PGE Park for at least 3-5 years, and that would be a deal breaker for MLS.


I think this idea has huge potential- it seems that the stadium & OMSI might have different peak parking demands - a shared parking structure isn't out of the question. If some amount of convenient structured parking is available but priced accordingly, the structure could pay for itself and be profitable after a few years.

Forrest Smith

Because the OMSI site proposal has received increased attention, a more accurate study for the site has been made. While the site, as it exists today, works well for a AAA sized stadium, increasing the size to MLB standards would require additional steps that would complicate the proposal, and potentially make it unfeasible at this time.

It is important to note that a MLB baseball stadium at the OMSI site could still potentially work. The complicating factors include planning the new MAX line to accommodate the increased stadium footprint, working with the Portland Opera to find a new location, and possibly the adjustment of an existing railroad track (the latter 2 items could be addressed in the event that Portland gains a MLB team).

I still find the OMSI site an intriguing option, even with the added complications. I encourage anyone in the architecture community to work on this idea to see what solutions could be found.

This idea has taken on some new interest. I was contacted by KOIN, but declined the interview due to my latest studies on the site. If the architecture community can find a plan for the site, the interest from the media is there.


Douglas K.

Out of curiosity -- has anyone considered South Waterfront? There's plenty of open land, it's close to freeway access, and there will be a light rail line right there.

The land is currently owned by OHSU for its future campus. That's a 19 acre parcel, and the ballpark could be built on the northernmost four acres, right where the Schnitzer parking lot is.

There's room for a LOT of parking under the Marquam Bridge ramps, and space for a light rail station at Moody and Sheridan with a very wide platform and maybe a third track. Tri-Met could potentially open the first phase of the Milwaukie line early -- PSU to River Place, terminating at the new Stadium station. The Yellow and Green line, plus the streetcar and (eventually) several buses would handle transit. It also will be right on the Willamette Greenway Trail, making it highly accessible by bicycle.

Yeah, it would cut into the planned campus a bit. I doubt that's a big problem. I don't think the campus is even designed yet, and it's decades away from full buildout. It shouldn't be a problem to fit the campus on 15 acres by just building everything a little bit taller.

SInce OHSU has no immediate need for the land, it may be possible to deal. The Beavers do something the University needs (such as building a shared parking structure) and in return are allowed to lease the land under the stadium for as long as the Beavers continue to play there. When they leave, they'll return a site that's practically shovel-ready for the university, and OHSU will have another four acres to grow.

Just imagine the view from the bleachers. You'd be looking out at the Willamette River, the new MAX bridge, Ross Island, the towers of South Waterfront, OMSI, and -- on a good day -- Mount Hood.


I did post a latest study of the OMSI site to my site (http://www.liquidosity.com/baseballatomsi/) which outlines the complications with this site if the stadium were to be expanded to MLB. It seems as though this still is a possibility, albeit with some complications.

I'm not sure what expansion plans OMSI has for their land, but I wonder if they would be interested in utilizing the Memorial Coliseum in their growth plans. It's disconnected from their existing campus, but depending what they are persuing, two separate museums (or research areas) could work. May be an interesting land swap that would solve a couple of problems.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lead Sponsors


Portland Architecture on Facebook

More writing from Brian Libby


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad

Paperblogs Network

Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics

Awards & Honors