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Amy Petty

Brian et al, Thank you for all your efforts in manning the front lines of the effort to save our Memorial Coliseum. It is your tenacious bravery that makes the rest of us who called, blogged, and emailed so proud. You and the others were the voices that championed such a valiant effort. Without folks like you, we wouldn't have been heard. Bravo!

Brian Libby

Thank YOU, Amy!


nice, we will be building a AAA park in the middle of a low density neighborhood....hope the like night games.

Chris Yunker

I guess I'm in the minority in Portland, but I think this is just a dumb decision. Sure the Memorial Colosseum is a nice building, but preserving it at the cost of building a new baseball stadium way out on the edge is just not smart city planning. Especially one that prides itself on being green and sustainability. How much more carbon will be emitted as a result of this decision?

The Rose Quarter area is perfect for building a stadium: central location, right across the river from one of the densest neighborhoods, and at the nexus of three Max lines. Also, the residents of Portland have the chance for a gem of stadium with views of the river and downtown (see San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Sacramento).

Sometimes cities have to make harsh decisions for the long term livability of its citizens. In all the article I've read about this (and to be honest, it hasn't been much), I haven't yet seen the numbers put out there: How much money will it cost to maintain the Colosseum in the next 50 years. Some have said that the books have been cooked to make it look like it's losing money. Okay, can we first demand an objective financial analysis first before making this decision? And as mentioned before, can we have an objective "carbon analysis" to see the effects of building a stadium in Lents?

It seems like a very vocal minority is complaining about the demolition of the Colosseum being destroyed. Is this really how most of the citizens feel? Perhaps we should first get some numbers and then put this to a citywide vote first? It seems like we're rushing into this, with a new decision being announced every month.




I disagree with your contention that the only 'green' or 'sustainable' option in this (or presumably any) scenario is continuing to focus the lion's share of Portland's resources and energy on the center of the city. Your point would be well-taken if the options for a new stadium were the Rose Quarter and, say, a semi-rural area outside of the UGB. Even an isolated, decentralized area within the UGB would be a poor choice for a stadium. However, and I hope you and others who have expressed similar sentiments will see my point, it seems to me that the far more 'green' option is to actively and vigilantly engage the variously languishing, sputtering, yet well-established and easily accessed town centers scattered throughout the UGB, Lents being a perfect example. People continue to move to Portland in droves, and few of them can afford to live in the city's more coveted first ring of neighborhoods. This puts pressure on the suburbs to continue growing because many newcomers aren't thrilled with what the areas in between the center and the edges have to offer. I'm not suggesting that people who would gladly buy into a subdivision should be pandered to (I hope!), but shouldn't we at least be making an effort to offer a viable alternative to suburbia in an area that is already developed, instead of tempting the bulldozer?

Similarly, in order to make the center of the city, and the Rose Quarter in particular, more 'sustainable', the last thing that area needs is yet another large venue. Lents has homes, but few services and little street life. The Rose Quarter has stuff, but no homes and little street life. Call me crazy, but it seems obvious that both neighborhoods could use a shot of something different.


matthew, I think what chris is getting at, and I agree with him on this, is that certain things should be at the center of the city rather than in a town center.

Yes, based off the thinking that came from the Hanover 2000 Expo, it makes more sense having key town center spread throughout the region to help lessen the distance one would need to travel for services...but, these services need to be things that provide to the target neighborhood.

Putting the AAA ballpark would be much like putting the Rose Garden in Lents...sure, different size and different league, but still same idea. A sports team is meant to be a benefit to the entire city, thus would mean the ballpark should be centrally located for the benefit for the entire city.

Out in Lents, it begins to put a larger burden on the westside to make that kind of commute to see a game, which will put a stress on the attendance numbers from that portion of the city. Now this could be counter balanced if it was clearly documented that the Beavers could attract a larger attendance from eastside Portland, Gresham, and Clackamas. Then it would make more sense in Lents.

Another issue I see with the location in Lents is that they have picked a neighborhood park that is surrounded by small neighborhood homes that will all be forced to take the burden of the traffic this would produce in their neighborhood, as well as the light and noise pollution it will create. Also, this ballpark is a stand alone idea, there has been no notation that this will be connected to any form of new development in Lents that will help the area grow as a town center, so much like the Rose Garden, this too would have little benefit for the neighborhood, unless it is attached to a larger masterplan....which I have yet to see.


there has to be a better central city location available as an alternative to Lents. I've been vocal in my opposition to both the demolition of MC and the siting of the ballpark in Lents - neither one makes (made) any sense, and I agree with both Chris and Dennis on this. It is unsustainable and just plain stupid planning to put a AAA ballpark out on the edge of the city, rather than inside the central city where everybody could gain access to it. This is not Wrigley Field in Chicago or Fenway in Boston. This is a AAA ballpark in Portland, one that is home to a team that could use all the support and attendance that it could get. Not to mention that we're ignoring all the past lessons that other cities have learned about placing a ballpark outside the city, namely that it doesn't work. Putting it out there is a sure recipe for failure, and quite frankly, makes Portland look bad. It makes us appear as though we're a second or third tier city, who has no idea on how to do these things, although we're supposed to be leaders in planning and sustainability. What a joke.


Okay fine. Point taken, but only on the stadium. There are clearly plenty of decent arguments against putting the stadium in Lents, and plenty for putting it in a more central spot.

I stand by my earlier statement that the Rose Quarter is the last place that needs it - there should be a diversity of uses and sizes in any given area, the Rose Quarter included. I also hope my larger point got through - that people should not be so quick to hurl insults of unsustainability at any proposal that doesn't continue to allocate ALL funds, resources and energy to the central core. A more sustainable Portland would have vibrant centers of activity of various sizes throughout the metro area, not just along the Willamette. Things are moving in this direction in some areas, but the city should do more to encourage it, even if this stadium doesn't necessarily provide that opportunity.


oh I agree matthew, and if this was a community center or something that would be beneficial to Lents, I would be for it. I also agree that the Rose Quarter might not be the best place for this either...though I think the PPS site would be fine for it.

I think when it comes to sustainability, the biggest argument for the ballpark should be, if we are going to spend the money on a new AAA ballpark, then we should spend it in a way that the stadium could be expanded for MLB because it makes no sense throwing away millions on a new ballpark for a AAA team that we just need to find a new home for....thinking beyond the near future is something that would be more sustainable regardless if you ever get a pro baseball team or not.


I'm glad the MC has been saved. But I hope it is not at the expense of the Lents Park neighborhood. I hope Brian takes the next step and uses this blog to advocate for a true citywide site search rather than just dumping the ballpark into a poorer neighborhood that doesn't have the financial means or political power to oppose it. You just don't put 9000 sports stadiums into lower income residential neighborhoods. Come on guys, there are single family homes surrounding Lent's Park. Would you want this in front of your house?

Save Lent's Park!

eric cantona

expo center.

Douglas K.

Thank you, Brian, for your tireless efforts to sound the horn on this issue.

I'm not a big fan of the Lents location, and I favor a more exhaustive search for a good site. (As dave pointed out, I wouldn't want this thing in my neighborhood.) If enough people living in Lents don't want it there, I hope they'll raise a fuss.

expo center.

Delta Park. Specifically, the bit just north of Portland International Raceway. MAX station, freeway access, lots of parking at PIR, an available 4-acre site in public ownership, no neighbors to annoy, and more "central" in the region than Lents Park.


expo center.

Common Sense

If they are going to take open space for this stadium, Delta Park cerainly has more, but where are the alternatives on private land?


What is the current time-line for the Main Post Office to move out? Wasn't that a site that was originally looked at for MLB?

Not as central, but private: the Conway property is probably a few years away from their grand schemes for a new neighborhood.


I think that the carbon footprint concerns of a new stadium in Lents are exaggerated. Have you seen the attendance numbers of Beavers games? A typical Safeway or Walgreens will generate a lot more traffic throughout the year than this stadium. A better question is why the hell are we spending tens of millions of dollars on a sporting franchise that attracts fewer than 400 fans to most games? why do they need 9,000 seats? a stadium with a third of the seating capacity will more than suffice.


I'm not a fan of Bojack, but his skepticism of the Beavers' attendance is warranted.



YEA MC Lives! now Lents... , or as many know it 'felony flats' , cuts off any hope of westside fans. I know plenty of folks who will not drive out there for a game , and have their cars broken into.
It is unworkable to ask MAX to service BBall games , they can't get enough cars into and out of a game. As we have seen the Design Community has highlighted some great Central Sites , pick one. Build a MLB Ready Stadium , and Go Pirates!


The Conway site or Expo Center area sounds better than Lents to me.

Another radical suggestion: take out that airfield that's screwing up the Columbia River Crossing Project and put the stadium there. Then maybe the designers could fix that hideous, 12 lane bridge...just throwing it out there...


I have a small two part question for everyone here.

When was the last time anyone went to a Beavers game? How about an event at the MC for that matter? Everyone wants to save a building, as beautiful as it may be, that they most likely have not used since 1995, unless they are extreme Winterhawk fans or wanted to see the Jonas Brothers or Nickelback. As for the Beavers, the average attendance was listed around 5,000 last year. I personally think those numbers were generously inflated. While walking home last year passing by PGE along 13th I witnessed a number of games with attendances in the low 100's.


The above address hes some shots of what I am talking about. It just makes me wonder who we are saving this team for? There are also reports that there is a town in Texas willing to pay more than the team is worth to have them moved. This would definitely lessen the burden of the tax-payers.

Congratulations to all that helped save the MC, seriously well done. But as for the Beavers, I for one an mot interested in keeping them around if we must go to great lengths to find them a home.



I didn't see your post, funny that I posted the same address. I don't know anything about Bojack, but I do know that the Beavers draw miserable crowds.


1. Saving the MC is good, but only if it
is renovated and integrated within the
fabric of the new Rose Quarter district.
Possibly have a partial retracting roof
on the Willamette side so that it can
open up for summer concerts with the
City skyline in the background. Close
the roof the other 8 months of the year
for mid-sized concerts, Winterhawk games
and dual-marketing for events with the
Rose Garden (Davis Cup, Figure Skating
NCAA events, etc.)

2. Constructing a baseball stadium in Lents
is not a good idea. Yes, there are some
positive aspects to that site, but
overall I feel the City will just be
placing a ballpark there and calling it
"good enough". Nothing special about
the area.

3. I feel we need to develop a nice minor
league "boutique" ballpark that would
make attending a game a pleasant outing.
A small, intimate, brick structure. A
nod could be given to Wrigley Field and
have Boston Ivy grow on the outfield
walls. The site should be more urban
(PPS site, Post Office, OMSI area, etc.)
w/ some nice restaurants, microbrewery,
and other establishments in the area
surrounding the stadium.

People attending an attractively
designed ballpark would have a nice
time watching baseball. As the City
and region grow in population and the
corporate base expands - let this small
boutique stadium be able to have an
upper deck added to the point that it
will meet major league standards with
respect to seating capacity. This may
be 5 years or it could be 20 years, but
at least position this stadium at a site
that it can easily be expanded.

There is a much larger fan base for a
major league team than a minor league
franchise. People make time to travel
and see the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers,
etc. and follow the teams through the
years...they don't do that to the same
degree for the minor league teams. Can
anyone name a player on the Reno or
Des Moines minor league teams? Or even
what the teams nicknames are? There is
a much larger and avid fan base for
major league franchises.

It is similar to going to an Oregon Duck
or OSU Beaver football game. I will
travel hundreds of miles to attend one
one of their games, but I do not have
an interest in watching Western Oregon
play Eastern Oregon - it may be a good
football game, but the level of interest
isn't the same - it's akin to watching
a minor league team.


Congratulations. You just doubled the city's cost on the MLS/AAA project, doomed the Beavers to continued poor attendance, screwed up the city's best shot at turning the Rose Quarter into a year round attraction, and blew most of the Lents URD money on a project that is guaranteed to spur ZERO redevelopment.

Oh, and there are still no assurances that the MC will end up looking anything like it does now. Good work.

You do realize that most of your influential "allies" in your Quixotic quest are simply people who want the entire MLS/AAA proposal to fail, right? (Matt Davis, Bojack, etc.)


One other note for Brian, Jeff, and the other "MC retractable roof" proponents:

Do you have any clue how much this would cost? Build one over a stadium from scratch costs around $80-$100m. And that's for an enclosed roof, not a glass roof. Then add in the cost of yanking out and rerouting all the HVAC, electrical, etc. that is buried in the current roof. Then add in the fact that there is no financial model to pay for it.

Then add in the fact that:
*you blew up a proposal which had been on the table for six months with public task force meetings;
*the city has been trying to find a viable re-use of the MC for over a decade with no success;
*the MLS/AAA proposal was mostly backed with private money;
*the MLS/AAA proposal barely passed with three votes and received a ton of flack over the relatively small public subsidy;
*you just lost a good chunk of those private dollars when the MC proposal was shelved.


Brian Libby


Your skepticism is a valid addition to the conversation. Maybe things like retractible roof are too expensive for the MV.

However, I don't think your overall points -- or your needless hostility -- are for the best.

Let me take the time to brush aside, I mean examine these arguments, one by one. Again.

We did not just double the city's cost on the MLS/AAA project. A baseball stadium outside the Rose Quarter is cheaper to build, and you haven't figured in the cost of replacing a 12,000 seat arena, which the city will need in the future.

We have not doomed the Beavers to continued poor attendance. If they can't get decent numbers at PGE Park, who is to say they would be better in the Rose Quarter? Maybe having a stadium in Lents or somewhere else to the east or north would bring in a lot more attendees from Clackamas, Gresham and Vancouver. Why try to protect what are already abysmal attendance numbers in the central city?

We did not screw up the city's best shot at turning the Rose Quarter into a year round attraction. How is having a single-use stadium visited only during the spring and summer for a few baseball games turning the RQ into a year-around attraction more than having a multi-purpose year-around arena like the MC?

You're also wrong in saying we blew most of the Lents URD money on a project that is guaranteed to spur ZERO redevelopment. Lents has been destitute for decades, despite PDC's investments there, and now a stadium is going to bring in people from potentially all around the region.

You close your comment by saying "Un-be-lievable" as if you're astonished at the mistakes, but you've twisted the facts to suit your argument. I wish I could find that "un-be-lievable" from a blog commenter, but I don't.


Brian I still think the Lents location is a bad idea. There has been no serious address to parking in that area because a stadium there will attract more drivers than it will transit riders, regardless of there being a light rail stop a couple blocks away. Currently, the drawing shows a tiny surface lot next to the stadium, which leads me to believe people will be parking mostly in the neighborhood or over in the shopping center parking lot.

I dont see how putting a stadium in the middle of a neighborhood full of small detached homes is going to spur development there. Which this idea is still a stand alone idea with no real direction to improve the area. If this was closer to the urban core of Lents or an addition to a new development there, then I could understand it.

Now here is a real idea for Lents that would make me believe it would be a good investment. If this new ballpark went in at SE92 and Harold, where there currently is a ball field, then having a redevelopment of the land between Reedway and Fosters to create an actual town center in Lents...then that is a real development idea.

Granted, that would go against my idea of the ballpark being MLB ready, but at least this idea would actually be a benefit to a neighborhood rather than just a drop it anywhere there is room idea that is currently going on.



Everything that I said was factual, and it was based on research stemming back years from the prior MLB effort by the Oregon Stadium Campaign. I’d be happy to go over them in detail, but I don’t know that you really care about baseball in Lents since, to you, this is really about saving MC and nothing else.

We did not just double the city's cost on the MLS/AAA project. A baseball stadium outside the Rose Quarter is cheaper to build

First of all, note that I said the city's cost. This is an $85-90m project. Paulson backed about $55-60m through various mechanisms. That put the city's outlay at around $25-35m in urban renewal funds.

The only specific cost savings in moving the project to Lents is in the demolition costs for MC. For that, we lost a $12.5 million contribution towards stadium construction from Paulson. We also lost the parking revenue from the city-owned garages at the Rose Quarter (that’s at least $500k/yr, probably closer to $1m… enough to back at least $10m in bonds). We also have to figure out how to get at least 1,500 parking spots at Lents as required by the Pacific Coast League (yes I know about the proposed onsite lot which is too small, and the vaunted shuttle buses which nobody will ride), plus the cost of the MC remodel.

So I think that it is conservative to say that the city’s outlay will double.

(splitting up post)


you haven't figured in the cost of replacing a 12,000 seat arena, which the city will need in the future.

The city does not need another 12,666 seat arena. Maybe a 5k arena at best, and this may be happening at PSU soon. The city has more than enough stadium seating and exhibit hall capacity for the next 50 years. Cities that are far larger than Portland are getting rid of their older indoor arenas because they are simply redundant and unnecessary – most recent example being Philadelphia which just got rid of the old Spectrum.

And besides, there is no assurance that the 12,000 seat arena will remain in that form.

We have not doomed the Beavers to continued poor attendance. If they can't get decent numbers at PGE Park, who is to say they would be better in the Rose Quarter?... Why try to protect what are already abysmal attendance numbers in the central city?

Every single baseball-only AAA stadium located at or near the downtown core has consistent above average attendance.

Only one AAA stadium located outside the downtown core has consistently drawn well --- Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. This facility is blessed with perfect baseball weather all season, a rich corporate base within a wealthy suburb outside Austin, and a giant swath of parking lots surrounding the facility (and zero redevelopment or things to do nearby).

Almost every AAA owner with a baseball stadium outside the downtown core has attempted to move the team back downtown. Some are successful, some aren’t, and others have simply left for greener downtown pastures elsewhere (the latest being Tucson moving to downtown Reno). Nobody (at least in the last 50 years) has been dumb enough to move their existing baseball-only downtown AAA facility outside of the downtown core.

None of this matters to Paulson as long as he is insulated from financial risk on the baseball side of the deal. His player expenses are zero, so anything he gets from Lents is gravy.

But it SHOULD matter to the city since they will be on the hook for at least $35m or more on the baseball side of this project.

We did not screw up the city's best shot at turning the Rose Quarter into a year round attraction. How is having a single-use stadium visited only during the spring and summer for a few baseball games turning the RQ into a year-around attraction more than having a multi-purpose year-around arena like the MC?

Blazers + Winterhawks = 80-90 games (hopefully more); 5k-20k fans per game; from October-April.

Beavers = 72 games (not “a few”), 5k-10k fans per game, from April-September.

The entertainment district opportunity is still there, with or without the Beavers; in fact the odds of private dollars flowing into the immediate area would grow with a steady drumbeat of at least 5,000 visitors showing up on 160 or more days a year (esp. combined with the streetcar).

You're also wrong in saying we blew most of the Lents URD money on a project that is guaranteed to spur ZERO redevelopment. Lents has been destitute for decades, despite PDC's investments there, and now a stadium is going to bring in people from potentially all around the region.

Name one city that generated any redevelopment by building a AAA stadium outside the downtown core. It has never happened (unless you consider parking lots to be redevelopment), and it won’t happen at Lents. And this isn’t about Lents. It’s about being away from the hub of where people live AND work AND go for entertainment. Without that synergy, all you have is a spot where people get in and get out as fast as possible.


PS - sorry everyone for the formatting issues on the last two posts, I don't know what happened. Obviously I was responding to comments made by Brian.


That is a very well thought out post, Greg, and I agree with you on all the points regarding the ballpark in Lents. As fired up as the design community had gotten about saving MC, we need to get fired up about the unsustainable, sprawl inducing and overall poor site planning and complete shortsightedness of the Lents proposal. I'm actually quite disappointed with the whole community, and yes, unfortunately this site as well, for basically throwing its hands up in the air for the MC victory, and then burying it's head in the sand regarding Lents, as though the two things are unrelated. It's quite sad and more than just a little bit hypocritical. Bad design, bad decisions and bad planning are all related to the overall health of our City, oh, but who cares now that memorial Coliseum is 'saved'. It's a total, "I got what I want, who cares about anything else" mentality, and it makes me sick.


Paul - what is "sprawl-inducing" about siting a ballpark in an established neighborhood within City limits? Last I checked sprawl occurs in areas that are not already built-up, are on the urban fringes, and do not have services available to support the development. Lents does not qualify. If you're going to play the sustainability card, at least use a valid argument.


Are you kidding me? Are you seriously asking what is sprawl-inducing about the creation of a high traffic 'commercial' island and the ludicrous amount of needed parking within as you say, an "Established Neighborhood'? This is absolutely no different than placing a Walmart out there, other than the fact that a Walmart would be used more often and by more people that this ballpark will. Most of the time, whenever there is not a game that day, it will sit empty and you'll have a lovely parking lot to look at (oooh, maybe they'll put some trees in the parking lot, how nice...) And would you please enlighten me as to what existing services are within walking distance of the proposed location to support this brand new development? Its hypocritical at best to believe that MC is/was worth saving as an architectural gem, and that demolishing it and putting something else in its place is unsustainable, yet building a ballpark outside the density of the city core in a residential neighborhood that lacks any other type of amenities is somehow sustainable. It is not. At least in the Rose Garden area there are other amenities that people can enjoy before and after the game. At Lents, in an "established (residential) neighborhood" you're encouraging people to load into their cars, come to the game, then climb into their cars again to go home right after the game. There is simply no logical reason to build out there, other than the fact that the City owns the land, and that is simply not good enough. It will not be a catalyst for future development (uh, see Rose Quarter and every other AAA ballpark built outside of the city core) it cannot be upgraded for MLB in the future, it will be a tremendous waste of land, money and resources, (and the last time i checked, the intelligent use of land, resources and materials was related to sustainability...) and encourages automobile traffic. THAT is why it's 'sprawl-inducing' and 'unsustainable'.


also to add to why it would be a "sprawl inducing" location. People from Gresham that would go to the game are more likely to drive than to drive to the MAX, take the Blue to the Green, then change trains to go down to Lents.

People from Clakamas are going to drive because what is the point to driving to the MAX to only ride it for two stops. Much easier for them to drive to the ballpark itself.

Then there are the handful of westside people that it might still be able to attract. Which they are definitely not going to spend all their time riding a train downtown, change trains and ride that all the way out to Lents.

So there is a good chance to say building in Lents will attract more car commuters than rail commuters.

Also, those who are in favor of building in Lents Park, what is there to walk to that would be at a benefit for having a ballpark build in a residential neighborhood? Also, where would be possible locations for redevelopment and how would it connect to the new ballpark?

I think these questions are just as important to saving the MC...though I have to agree, most cities tear down their old stadiums and ballparks when their lifespan ends, regardless of the historical context...I always hate when people use the Penn Station to justify anything...

Brian Libby


Instead of arguing more with you, I must admit that some of your points about Lents and siting the stadium there are worth pondering. However, it seems like anywhere we put the baseball stadium is going to be a problem. I just happen to see demolishing Memorial Coliseum as a bigger problem than any of the others.

This is a blog about architecture. Part of what I love about architecture is that it's a crazy intersection of artistic, financial, political and other powerful concerns. As a result, I also enjoy talking about all them. But at the end of the day, it's really the art of designing great buildings, spaces and places that I care about more than the money side of it. In other words, a smart guy like yourself can sometimes make a fair set of financial or urban planning arguments, such as you've impressively done, and I'm afraid I just still won't budge.

Is Lents the right place to put a ballpark? I'm not sure. But I know there are plenty of people in Lents who wanted it, and there are reasonable people on both sides of the debate.

Another commenter above, Paul, said my mentality was that of someone saying, "I got what I want, who cares about anything else." I dispute that vehemently.

Of course I don't want Lents to get some kind of short straw here, nor do I want that to happen to my city, whether it's the central part or the outer parts. But again, it's debatable what the effect will be.

A larger point that we also need to remember here is that throughout the history of historic preservation, it has always been economic arguments that eradicate or nearly eradicate great buildings. The historic architecture that we do have left in Portland, stuff like the Armory or the Ecotrust buidings or the Ladd Carriage House, exists because people in the city believed some things were more important than balance sheets. Saving old buildings is always going to be costly, but if we made such decisions only in financial ways, our community would undoubtedly suffer for it.

Greg, before you make up your mind completely, I wish you could stand at center court or center ice in Memorial Coliseum during the daytime with the upper curtain open and light pouring through. It's the kind of spiritual experience only the best architecture, the best designs of each generation, can engender. And while it's hard to quantify, that is TREMENDOUSLY valuable.

Douglas K.

I wish you could stand at center court or center ice in Memorial Coliseum during the daytime with the upper curtain open and light pouring through.

I'd like to see that. I was inside a few years ago for a presentation and someone pointed out how the curtains were always closed. Ever since then I've been curious about how they look when opened.

it seems like anywhere we put the baseball stadium is going to be a problem.

I really wonder about that. What's wrong with South Waterfront, just south of the Marquam Bridge? OHSU has a 20 acre parcel and they campus there, but it will take - literally - decades to fully build out. It's also in the North Macadam Urban Renewal Area, and parking won't be any kind of problem. Why couldn't the City lease four acres out of twenty for a stadium for the next fifty years? It's almost as "central" as Rose Quarter and will have MAX service there in just a few years.

And I still don't see why Expo Center isn't a better location than Lents by every yardstick there is. It's in the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area and there's a lot of on-site parking there already. (Yes, putting down a stadium will wipe out several hundred parking places for Expo center, but that probably can be mitigated with new parking on undeveloped land across N. Force Avenue or in the upland areas south of N. Expo Road.) It's also FAR easier to serve with MAX, since you can run "game special" MAX trains directly there from Gresham, Hillsboro, or practically anywhere else in the MAX system.

So why on earth is the focus exclusively on Lents? Yeah, the site might work, but there seem to be other, better sites in other URAs.

Douglas K.

meant to write " they plan to build a campus there"


Brian, I wasn't singling you out individually, and i apologize if it came across like that; I'm upset at the whole design community collectively for the mentality i spoke of. I understand that you feel that Lents has some potential; i believe that it's just as bad of a situation as placing it on a demolished MC site, for many, many reasons. I just really don't see what's debatable about the numerous negative effects that placing that ballpark in Lents will have. I also feel like we are blessed with great planners, architects and landscape architects in this city, who have been trained and do this sort of analysis for a living, and just because there are "plenty" of people in Lents who want this doesn't necessarily mean that's the reason it should be built. if it doesn't work from a design, development, or intelligent economic standpoint, or even everything that we stand for in Planning this City, then it shouldn't be done, period. There has to be a better location available; we just need to find it without screwing up the MLS deal.


Paul and Dennis,
You both raise some valid points about the sustainability of building a ballpark in general (though I'm less than convinced that people from Gresham and Clackamas wouldn't simply drive more miles to see a game at the Rose Garden than at the closer Lents location); I'm simply saying that building up Lents cannot be defined as sprawl. Look it up. The services I'm talking about are not grocery stores or eateries, I'm talking about infrastructure services such as roads, sewers, and water that are already there. Building the park in Lents indicates a planning scheme that is more anti-sprawl than anything, that is, building up an already established urban neighborhood into a denser use.

So again, you may have some valid arguments about the sustainability of such a venture (more auto trips, etc.), but that doesn't make a development "sprawl-inducing".


Wait for the response...silence...


Jeremy Wright

Do you understand that actually all you did was was carry the water for the Blazers and Paul Allen?

Do you really think anyone is gonna step in the way of the Blazers these days? Rip city uprise and wall. Wanna see how fast you and the angry Architects get flattened? All you did was carry out Paul Allens plan.

Now they have a clear path to a) get the Convention Center URD dollars and b) turn the building into some horrible “live district”.

You were PLAYED.

Now if you had come to the table with a viable FINANCIALLY backed alternative for the MC then that would have been a different story. But instead, through your arguments, now you have set up a situation where any public investment into the MC is impossible.

And as today's MC Oregonian article points out any renovation or re-purposing of the MC is going to be 3 times the cost of building the ball park and there are no private financial backers this time around other than, you guessed it, Paul Allen. If you think that the Arena Corp has been starving the building for the past 10 years do you really think he is gonna pay to create something there that is going to be even the slightest competition to the RQ?

Did you think any of these consequences through?

Brian Libby

Guys, we were not played and this is not over. The Blazers are going to have to accept that this campaign will not cease. More on this later, but I have an appointment in 60 seconds...



What type of events is the structure well suited for and how many of those events will happen during daylight to take advantage of the natural light?


To Jeremy's point:

And as today's MC Oregonian article points out any renovation or re-purposing of the MC is going to be 3 times the cost of building the ball park and there are no private financial backers this time around other than, you guessed it, Paul Allen. If you think that the Arena Corp has been starving the building for the past 10 years do you really think he is gonna pay to create something there that is going to be even the slightest competition to the RQ?

Allen paid for almost the entire cost of the Rose Garden, something which is almost unprecedented these days. Most cities built them on their own dime and are hemorrhaging cash from their public "investments".

So why on earth would Allen allow MC to be remodeled as an arena so that it can compete with the privately financed RG? That would be an eight figure slap in the face if the city remodeled the MC.


Call up Ron Paul and the Portland Public Market People. How great would a daily market look inside MC? Instant activation of the surrounding area, and a good tourist destination, too. It could even be done in conjunction with the Blazers' Live! Proposal.


I do hope that if the Lents proposal goes through that they have a plan to really make redevelopment out there attractive. I am, perhaps, overly pessimistic, but I can think of a number of ways that this project is going to miss its mark and perhaps become a sore spot for Portland.

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The Coliseum could be altered in a way that opens up a little of its facade or its roof in a way that brings the outdoors in an vice versa, but maintains the Coliseum as a more viable multi use facility instead of the single-use capacity an outdoor performance venue would serve.

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