« Between workforce and luxury: visiting THA & GBD's Cyan | Main | Cascadia Green Building Council's Jason McLennan talks about this week's Living Future "unconference" »

Comments

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

Steve

The demise of Portland’s Lumberjax (National Lacrosse League franchise) today reinforces the idea of making the new professional soccer team prove it has support before committing public money.

flowb33

Not too much question on the issue of Portland Timbers support. The team averages the 2nd highest attendance in its current league at about 9,000 per game. MLS numbers will likely be at 1.5 times that.

About potential uses for MC, I thought the editorial in yesterday's Oregonian by Tom Webb had a great vision of the entire Rose Quarter as an athletic "mountain top" in Portland. So much we could do there.

Like Brian, I'm trying to avoid the "one-place-over-the-other" mentality right now. But I'm leaning-toward hopeful that the baseball stadium will end up in Lents, and a smaller, complementary velodrome will end up in a sports-focused Rose Quarter.

The PDC recently rejected a BMX bike training facility down by the Burnside Bridgehead, but maybe that could end up in the RQ, as well.

Stuart

I think Lents is a great location for the Beavers. I'll bet there will be more spectators there than at PGE.

NC

Brian -

I think you should drop the moment by moment updates of the MC. There are so many other worthy stories that deserve coverage, and I don't think that Thomas Lauderdale's opinion on architecture warrant face time.

Secondly, and most important, the people of Lents want the stadium but don't want to pay for it. The surveys and plans all say yes, but only if the stadium takes $5-10M from the Lents budget. At present, it sounds like the subsidy for the baseball stadium will require between $30-40M. As you know, TIF financing for Lents ends in 2012. But availability of funding depends on the budget. If a large ticket item like the stadium arrives early in the area's lifespan, the interest and debt servicing for the district eats up the remaining available funding. If baseball were to come to Lents park out the of 2009-2010 budget year, everything that the city has planned (town center catalysts projects, grocery store, job creation, freeway lands employment center, flooding mitigation, road improvements, etc, etc), will be off the table. The remaining amount would not be enough to accomplish the goals of the URA.

I think you should consider this community's concerns before you throw your weight behind a project that will effectively bankrupt this URA. The people of Lents are not as organized as other neighborhoods, and because of this, they run the risk of seeing their open space and way of life bulldozed to make way for something they may deplore afterwards.

Last, this scenario sounds very familiar to me. The residents and businesses operating before the advent of the Rose Quarter were certainly a loss to the city and a shameful reminder to the early efforts of Urban Renewal. Yet, here we are again, preparing to do the same thing to a new group of politically unsavvy and working class people.

You talk of shuttling people from strip malls to the site? How unsustainable. In a city that prides itself on it's commitment to bicycling, mass transit, and streetcars, you would recommend shuttling people from one parking to another? This is not Vegas Brian, and I, for one, am appalled at your proposal. Bring AAA baseball to the city, where the roads, freeways, bus lines, and MAX trains can easily arrive at.

Please, stand behind concepts and options that bring people to the central core. As a strong voice and representative of the development and design community, you speak for so many of us.

Understandably, the easiest option is not always the first to arrive. If we plan on truly making the best business proposal for our collective investment, we must place Portland's legacy AAA at the most visible and accessible location.

eric cantona

first of all, thank you Brian for all your efforts at highlighting this contentious issue. it's been impressive to see the MC pulled from the abyss, and you deserve a great deal of the credit for that.

on the MC, my feeling is that we need to invest in its existing use. upgrades where necessary, nothing spectacular (like jumbotrons and sky suites). get it running and feeling like a good mid-range arena. in addition get out of the contract with OAN and market the crap out of it. it will pay for itself and the upgrades, and eventually turn a profit. Portland needs an arena of that size, and it'd be incredibly stupid to tear it down for that reason alone. the ideas like MARC and others are swell, but i don't necessarily agree with saving just the skin of the building.

as for the Beavers future home, has anyone thought of that huge-ass parking lot in front of the expo center? max is there, lots of nearby parking, and we'll soon have a 27 (or so) lane bridge providing smooth and easy access. i'm guessing that it's county owned, but maybe Adams can "trade" something with Wheeler to get it...

eric cantona

some enterprising young journalist needs to go knock on some doors in Lents. i've heard many conflicting reports on the relative level of comfort with the notion of AAA baseball happening there.

Brian Libby

NC,

I appreciate your passion and the point of view you're bringing on this conversation.

It's true there has been a lot of Coliseum coverage, and I agree there are a lot of other worthy issues out there. I have a Q&A about this week's Living Future conference, for example, that I'm getting ready to post.

However, I stand by the continuing Coliseum coverage because the very real threat to the building is continuing. To me, if I care about the building as much as I've demonstrated, it would be Nero's fiddling while Rome burns to do anything but persevere and keep up the fight.

I totally understand if you want to ignore these dispatches and wait for other topics to be covered, or give up on the blog. It'd be too bad to lose you and/or other readers, so I'm making an effort to balance the Coliseum red alert with other coverage.

In principle, however, I disagree with your assertion that everything has to be focused on the central core. Believe me, I'm no fan of the suburbs or low-density suburb-like urban areas. But the Metro region has plans for the broader Portland area that call for far more density, and much of that will be focused on certain identified "town centers", to use PDC's term, such as Lents. However, government has had an easier time identifying and targeting these pockets of transit oriented urban density than it has getting it to happen on the ground level. It's like a gardener who is good at designing gardens but lacks a green thumb when it comes to getting plants to grow.

Also, you try to defend "politically unsavvy and working class people" by saying they're somehow being taken advantage of in supporting this deal. But I think that's pretty patronizing to the very people in whose interest you claim to speak.

Let me be very clear about this: I WOULD NOT advocate for Lents as a destination for the baseball stadium if I didn't think it was good for Lents and the city alike, and in that order.

But we're talking about a transit oriented neighborhood, traditionally home to a larger number of people living below the median income, in which the city has been trying to guide investment, getting a billionaire to build a ballpark there that could serve the whole neighborhood and act as a lynchpin for kick-starting the revitalization of Lents that the regional Metro 2040 Plan already explicitly has in mind.

Your assertion that the people may want the ballpark in Lents but don't want to pay for it is slightly off-base as well. Nobody is asking Lents residents to pay anything. We're talking about a building project in their neighborhood that could provide a solid economic investment in their neighborhood.

If you look at Memorial Coliseum versus the proposed baseball stadium on that site, you are talking about a multi-use arena that can accommodate all kinds of events throughout the year (in our perennially rainy climate) versus a single use ballpark that would host a small cluster of summertime games and maybe a few concerts, also during that small window of reliably sunny weather from July to August. Memorial Coliseum is better for the people of Portland, rich or poor, urban or suburban, than a baseball stadium at that site.

Let me also address your insult about how I'm favoring Las Vegas-style, mini-mall favoring developments. That is just not fair. Everything I've written on this blog for years has favored urban, transit oriented, mixed-use development. And nothing I've written today or any day about Memorial Coliseum, baseball stadium plans or the Rose Quarter has ever deviated from that.

Instead, what I was saying in this particular post was that if some people insist on driving, or if it's their only chance to make it to the game, at least taking advantage of existing parking lots in a less intrusive way to the Lents neighborhood, while also bringing a little extra business to the existing malls that are struggling and employ a lot of people, helps mitigate that negative. I mean, look, people are going to drive places, alright?

NC, again, I appreciate your contributions here, but I'd appreciate your not insinuating that I've engaged in some kind of moral failure by carrying this torch.

Earl

Eric is right on.

Saving the skin alone and removing the bowl would severely damage the design; invest in the MC for mixed uses. Like a larger, all weather town square.

Cobo Hall in Detroit was the Pistons home until 1978. Detroit has managed to keep the 12 thousand seat arena busy since as a sports and music venue. Detroit remodeled Cobo in 1989, and there are currently plans for another renovation. (Coincidentally, as with the RC, there is the 21 thousand seat Joe Louis Area happily exiting right next door to Cobo)

Please keep up the reporting on the MC, this misguided effort to demolish Memorial is not done.

James M Harrison

What about going back to the idea of co-locating the Beavers and Timbers in PGE Park? After all, that's by far the most cost-effective. And it remains unclear whether having a soccer-only venue is merely a preference for Major League Soccer or a requirement.

Brian, the MLS is tying its success to Soccer Specific Stadiums, because they generate a profit for the team and the league. The league is turning the corner into true viability and stability largely on this point(witness LA, Dallas, Toronto...).
If we keep the Beavs in PGE Park, there can be no renovation. Remember, the city owns PGE park, and we the tax payers benefit from having a profitable business tailoring the facility in a way that makes money for all parties. So keeping PGE Park as is, is not the most cost effective solution, as you suggest.

Greg

Brian,

Can you name a single city that has successfully used a minor league stadium as a "lynchpin" for mixed-use development outside the central city core? Let me save you some time trying to find one... it doesn't exist.

Every AAA stadium built outside the central city core has been a failure from both an attendance an a mixed-use development standpoint. Most cities with stadiums outside the central city have been trying to move back towards downtown, or they are relocating to other cities.

Paulson only publicly backed Lents because he was initially told that, besides T-1, there were no other city-owned sites available. As soon as it appeared that there was political will behind MC, Paulson dropped Lents like a hot potato and upped the ante in order to try and get downtown where it belongs.

NC covered the parking issues at Lents well... the only thing I have to add is that I can't see people wanting to drive out to Clackamas Town Center or wherever just so they can take a shuttle bus to Lents. Plus, you have to keep those buses running the entire game because many of those fans are young families who may have to leave at any time because their kids are falling asleep, they have to go to work early, etc.

And, whoops, on top of losing a $12.5 million contribution from Paulson, you just lost about a million dollars a year that the city would have collected from the Rose Quarter parking garages by moving the stadium to Lents.

With all due respect, and I do mean that because I really enjoy your blog, I feel like you are just throwing arguments against the wall to see what sticks.

dennis

My biggest issue with Lents is the same with the MC location...if it can't be expanded into a pro ballpark, then whats the point in wasting the money to build a new ballpark? I also dont see this ballpark being the development that sparks change in Lents...unless of course, it is a ballpark that is attached to a huge redevelopment, which from what I can tell, it would not be.

James

I think people need to get over the MLB argument. It's not coming here. We'd be talking about a $600 million dollar stadium completely financed by the taxpayers. We also need an owner. Last I checked Portland wasn't ripe with billionaires aching to buy an MLB team.

The old Memorial Coliseum site is the right place for a AAA park. The Memorial Coliseum has outlived its usefulness. Spending the estimated $50 million on the MARC (this estimate was created in 2001) to create racquetball courts and an indoor pool is foolish.

It's an arena folks. They tore down Yankee stadium. If they can tear down the house that Ruth built because it outlasted its usefulness the Memorial Coliseum can be imploded as well. The Yankees won what? 27 championships? The Blazers won 1 and the sport was so unpopular at the time they didn't even play the game on live tv in Portland.

Raze the Coliseum.

Douglas K.

the MLS is tying its success to Soccer Specific Stadiums, because they generate a profit for the team and the league. [snip] If we keep the Beavs in PGE Park, there can be no renovation.

That last statement is simply wrong. Retractable seating could accommodate both sports. If PGE Park can be renovated to a true multi-use venue -- seats extended for soccer, retracted for baseball -- there's no reason to move the Beavers, and the Timbers will get their "soccer-specific" configuration whenever they need it.

I don't know what a "retractable seating remodel" would cost, but I'm certain it's far less expensive than building a brand new minor league baseball stadium for a team that draws only minimal public support.

The Memorial Coliseum has outlived its usefulness

Since it's still capable of being run as a year-round multi-use sports and concert venue that can generate a net profit under proper management, I'd say it's still pretty useful to the City. Much more useful, at least, than a single-use venue that's effectively going to be dark four or five months out of the year.

Steve

As for Yankee Stadium, New York is the poster child for the destruction of historic architecture.

Brian Libby

James, James, James-

Your Yankee Stadium example is interesting. I'm lifelong Yankee fan and I'm not sure what to think of what happened there.

However, we're not saying Memorial Coliseum should be saved because of its social or sports history. It should be saved because it's a great work of Portland architecture, and one of the most unique arenas of any kind, particularly because of its natural light and transparency.

Memorial Coliseum's renovation would be MUCH CHEAPER than the city replacing a 12,000 seat arena, which isn't duplicated elsewhere in the city. We'll need an arena that size in the future.

What's more, having a multi-purpose venue like MC is much more economically beneficial because it can accommodate so many more events than a baseball stadium, particularly given our rainy climate.

I'm not arguing here at all for taxpayer dollars to be spent on the MARC. Or on anything else. But renovating the Coliseum and re-imagining the Rose Quarter in a way that is more economically viable and better from an urban design perspective are consistent both in terms of financial outlook and design. The Coliseum is being under-utilized, in large part because of the management agreement that gives Oregon Arena Corporation financial incentive to let the Coliseum fall into disrepair.

If you say, "It's an arena folks", I'd argue you are missing the entire point of this blog. Portland Architecture seeks to be a voice and an advocate for good design in the city. If it's just a mere arena to you, why are you reading a blog that advocates for architecture? To myself and many others in this city, Memorial Coliseum is an architectural treasure worth preserving.

If you want to cite examples in New York City, my former city of residence, instead of Yankee Stadium I would recommend looking at the demolition of Penn Station in the early 1960s, which catalyzed the historic preservation movement for the whole nation because of the short-sighted folly involved. Ask Commissioner Nick Fish, another ex-New Yorker, about this. He spoke in City Council session about the Penn Station-Memorial Coliseum comparison last week.

Moving forward, though, I wish yourself, Mr. Paulson and the Oregonian editorial board the best. As the only people in the city arguing for the Coliseum demo, you guys should have a chance to bond.

Jeremy Wright

Can we lay the "dual use at PGE Park" canard to rest once and for all.

It's simple - MLS doesn't award Portland a franchise without the City Council vote to make PGE Park a SSS. We take that away and MLS gives the expansion franchise to the very eager, and waiting in the wings, Montreal or St Louis. The reason it is a requirement of expansion teams is that SSS create the atmosphere that draw the crowds and the owners control the revenue streams and the dates for games.

MLS plays 95% of it's games on Thursdays or Saturdays. Once a week. Every week. With 78 Beavers games it would be nearly impossible to do that.

Finally - the outfield stands for soccer are only a small part of the remodel of PGE Park. Right now more than 10,000 people in that stadium it gets really crowded. More than 13,000 it gets downright uncomfortable - you wait for 30 minutes to get a beer, go to the bathroom etc. A big part of the remodel is to widen the concourses and extend the concessions and create suites that will be sellable for Soccer/American Football.

MLS requires MAJOR league facilities. Shared PGE with exposed baseball diamonds etc is anything but.

Bruce Silverman


I'm glad you and others are speaking up for the Coliseum for its architectural attributes. I thought the piece in the Oregonian a couple of Sundays ago by Mr. Emmons did a decent job of explaining the architectural value. Randy Leonard, on the other hand (see last week's Tribune), doesn't seem to get architecture at all. That being said, the practical-minded taxpayer doesn't like an underused asset taking up space, when something more useful could replace it. So the question is, what use? As a sports arena, the Coliseum has been a white elephant since the day Paul Allen announced the Rose Quarter. It has been underused since then, and careful scheduling at the Rose Garden and other venues could probably cover the rest of the events still being held there. Beyond that, only a narrow spectrum of ideas have been brought to the table so far -- the athletic club, the big box store, and demolition in favor of the ballpark. Though certain powerful people are saying "win-win", none of these proposals is moving toward a consensus among the public, for a variety of reasons. But this community does have one need which can be well-satisfied at the Coliseum.

We need a new main library. Our beautiful Central Library is an embarassment. It's too small for the thousands who use it every day. In fact, it's the smallest main library of any community our size in North America. The 149 computers made available in the 1995-7 remodeling have been insufficient from Day One. There are no study rooms for two or more people to work together without disturbing other patrons. Forty percent of the books are hidden in the basement. Don't you wonder what's down there? No other big city library in America has more than 25% in closed shelving. Most other communities our size have built new main libraries in the last twenty years: Phoenix, Chicago, San Antonio, Seattle, Vancouver and more. Portland, this so-called City of Readers, is going to have to build a new library before long.

It's fair to ask why we haven't heard this from the library administration. Here's my take: though the remodeling squeezed as much use into the building as anyone could hope for, Director Ginny Cooper was afraid to ask the voters for a new building. She may have judged the mood correctly at that time; in any case, we still have the problem. Her replacement, Molly Raphael, mentioned a look at spacial needs early on, but her offfice's 2006 Strategic Plan doesn't address it.

If you'll allow the possibility that we are going to have to do something, consider that these other cities have spent as much as $175 million to build from scratch. But at the Coliseum, we have the land, the foundation and the structurally sound shell, the parking and freeway access, Fareless Square, and windows for natural light. I propose that we build a building-in-a-building. Hollow it out, and build about four floors inside. The library could easily fit on two floors. The library administration could move in, and sell their real estate on N.E. Russell Street. The Portland Public Schools Administration could move in, too, and sell their Blanchard complex (to Merritt Paulsen?). It would be a good thing for these two sets of administrators to be neighbors; just a few weeks ago, the Oregonian reported that PPS's libraries need help.

The public will never allow A.E. Doyle's Central Library to be sold or destroyed. It should remain as a super branch, like Gresham or the Midland Branch on 122nd Ave. This use, however, would only occupy one or 1 1/2 floors. The rest could be leased commercially or used by the City, the County, or other government. It is desirable -- it has unusually large rooms, is ready for earthquakes, and has modern furnishings, wiring and HVAC.

This is not a proposal to spend money. It is a proposal to save money. The price of a new library could be cut roughly in half. Central's clerks, who fetch books from the basement, would disappear from the operating budget. While there are currently fourteen librarians at the information desks at any particular time, a well-designed new facility could cut that number significantly.

Who would own the two library buildings? All of the following are possible: for either building, the City, the County, the Friends of the Library or some other non-profit set up for the purpose, or a private owner who would serve as developer and would issue a friendly lease. Outside appraisers would have to be involved in the process, so that no party would feel they are losing assets. Who knows, maybe the school district could become Merritt Paulsen's landlord.

I acknowlege challenges:

Can we admit we goofed in staying with Central Library in the 1990's?

Can City, County and school politicians and administrators cooperate to make a better community and to save tens of millions of dollars? I'm not optimistic. I would note, though, that even though this involves taxpayers in three distinct jurisdictions, there is a heavy juxtaposition in the taxpayer lists.

Will library patrons go to events at the Rose Quarter, and will sports fans go to the library? Probably not. But the library will bring thousands of people of all stripes through that empty plaza all day, every day. It's not the Blazers' latest vision, but they had their chance at redevelopment, and they failed.

I'm staying away from the issues of subsidizing millionaires and private business, and of rushes to judgement. I do like baseball, and I'd watch it at PGE Park, Blanchard Field or in Lents. I wish the mayor had allowed more time to consider ideas like this one, which, by the way, came to me from a library employee. But I frankly admit I don't know how to get an idea on the community's table for discussion, and I can't get on the Oregonian's op-ed page because I don't have the cachet of Doug Obletz or of the paper's own editors and columnists.

Do you like this idea? Do you think architects would be intrigued by a design contest for a building-in-a-building? Frankly, I'm looking for allies.

Bruce Silverman

James M Harrison

Just to be clear 'Yankee Stadium' James and I are different people.

Having said that, I stand by my assertion that MC is miles down the list of great buildings. You guys can't even agree whether to 'preserve' or 'repurpose' it, which I find revealing. Yes, it's been left to die by the operating agreement, no, it's not Mies. Mostly it's not a singular example of 'Portland'- it's yet another copy of 'International Style' backed off of a truck and bolted onto our landscape.

Douglas K can read Jeremy Wright's statement as to why 'folding seats' at PGE Park will not work.


Brian Libby

Thanks James Harrison. Just to also be clear, I knew you weren't the other James (to whom I addressed a previous comment), and I absolutely love your work as an artist-designer.

If I ever said that Memorial Coliseum was a top-shelf masterpiece on the level of Mies Van der Rohe, I take it back and admit to being wrong. But I don't think I've ever said such a thing. The building may not be at the very highest level of international landmarks of architecture. That said, does it need to meet that level of excellence to be preserved? Even if it's not Mies, Memorial Coliseum is a gem.

Also, Skidmore, Owings, Merrill at times in its history has achieved a level of mastery roughly equal to the great Mies. An example would be their two landmarks facing each other on Park Avenue in New York: SOM's Lever House and Mies's Seagram Building. In my view, Lever House is at least as good as Seagram. And the great SOM architect Gordon Bunshaft, who principally designed Lever House, was also involved in designing Memorial Coliseum. Again, I'll grant you that the Coliseum does not reach that A+ level that Lever House does, but it's a very visible, very unique public building by one of the most important American architecture firms of the 20th Century.

If we're talking about architectural pedigree and mastery here, James, I'd argue that your point about MC being "not Mies" is a fair reminder and puts the building in a context I can't argue with. However, lets also not mislead people into thinking that the MC is somehow insignificant.

In other words, particularly considering what a terrifically talented sculptor and artist you are, I'd expect you to be willing to acknowledge that it's a special building, if a tarnished one.

Part of what makes your work wonderful is its celebration of light in a sculptural manner. That's what is great about the Coliseum too. Seriously, don't judge the building in its entirety until you've been in that arena with the curtain open and light pouring in like no other arena in America is capable of.

Steve

Lets also put the building in the context that it’s in Portland not Chicago. How many buildings in Portland would reach the Mies van der Rohe or better category? In my opinion not many.

Commenters on a web site are never going to agree on the best uses for Memorial, there is no mechanism to reach consensus, as there could be in a proper public redevelopment process.

Our current leaders have not thought creatively and diligently about how to leverage this public investment and we cannot predict or assume how future generations could use and better appreciate Memorial Coliseum.

ws

So, I presume from his comment, James Harrison feels that because some people are receptive to consideration of ideas about re-purposing the coliseum from its present function, they don't consider the building to be on their list of great buildings.

I think re-purposing has to be on the table. That doesn't mean that this is the only way to go, but ideas that might allow the building to function better for the city going into the future, should be considered.

Some kind of continuation as an arena is a good idea too. I understand it's presently a bit small for an Olympic size bike velodrome, but maybe designers have some solutions. Would be nice if the MC could do the velodrome, as well as other bike stuff like freestyle bmx and also, skateboard events.

The building looks great at its location, and from a distance too (it can be seen in Downtown from the skybridge between Pioneer Place and Pioneer Place II.) For Portland, it's a worthy building to keep on, but it needs to be more than a museum piece.

Greg

Memorial Coliseum's renovation would be MUCH CHEAPER than the city replacing a 12,000 seat arena, which isn't duplicated elsewhere in the city. We'll need an arena that size in the future.

When? In 100 years? Cities that are twice the size of Portland are finding it difficult to impossible to operate two arenas the size of MC and the RG profitably.

The Coliseum is being under-utilized, in large part because of the management agreement that gives Oregon Arena Corporation financial incentive to let the Coliseum fall into disrepair.

No, it is being under utilized because there isn't enough demand for events in this town to fill the existing facilities. And if you are proposing that the city should renovate the MC so that it can compete on an equal footing with the privately funded (and unable to turn a profit) Rose Garden, the Blazers will flee this town faster than a Bill Walton outlet pass once their lease expires.

And to add to Jeremy's point - the Portland Beavers are the only team in all of minor league baseball to play in a multipurpose facility, and the facility would be even worse for baseball once it is configured to accomodate MLS. Minor league baseball should not be played in a 25,000 seat rectangular facility with no parking which is tucked into the west hills where the sun cannot be seen after 3pm. You cannot dream up a worse scenario for family-friendly minor league baseball if you tried.

One more thing - the people who are arguing against the MC because they think that an MLB stadium won't fit there are doing so blindly. The Twins are building a 40,000 seat stadium on an eight acre plot (Portland's MLB stadium would probably be closer to 30,000). It can be done.

Earl

How would a multi-use facility be “even worse” for baseball? If the shape of the park and the lack of parking and the shadows are so bad, why did we renovate the stadium eight years ago? The unique quirkiness of baseball parks like Fenway Park is a tradition in baseball. As well, wouldn’t the supposed negative attributes affect the “family friendliness” of soccer games?

Greg

Earl,

PGE Park is already multi-use. In the most recent renovation, they designed for baseball first and foremost. When they redesign it primarily for MLS and PSU football, the fans (think behind home plate, not just the left field) will end up being even farther away from the action and the seats will be facing the middle of the pitch rather than home plate. There is a reason that every team in professional baseball has scrapped or is scrapping multiuse stadiums.

Stadiums like Fenway and Wrigley are quirky, yes, but they are still baseball parks first and foremost.

re: the negative attributes affecting the soccer games, I have two replies to that: first, minor league baseball and MLS are completely different animals. In MLS they are going to watch the game, yell, chant, etc. Minor League Baseball fans are coming out to enjoy the atmosphere, hang out, watch some baseball, and they don't care nearly as much who wins or loses, or even if they see the end of the game. Families with young children are less likely to take transit and more likely to want to park next to the stadium so they can quickly go home when their kid starts screaming or is ready for bed.

And second, PGE Park is not ideal for MLS from a family friendliness standpoint. Everybody knows it, accepts it, feels they can draw well with the remodel, and they realize that this is the best option they have without dropping $200 million on a brand new facility.

James M Harrison

I support the creative adaptation of MC, but I think the architecture community is taking a stronger line towards out and out preservation.
I don't think the future Rose Quarter will work if you preserve the MC as is. There's only one entry for crying out loud. Please let me and Timber Jim open it up in a few key locations!
I've been to many events there Brian, I take my son to the First Robotics Competition in MC every year, and I support the Urban Funk Factor- no net loss of funk within the Urban Growth Boundary. But don't forget that building displaced an entire neighborhood.

I hope that Baseball can go to Lents, PGE Park gets remade as a Soccer Specific Stadium, and the MC can be repurposed to actually work in conjunction with the future Rose Quarter. I hope that Vulcan will listen to us that we don't want Chuck E Cheese and Hard Rock Cafe- plan it with some of our local talent and innumerable local restaurants and businesses.

We're not that far apart, but I don't support putting the building on the historic register where you're stuck with not being able to make it function better.

Douglas K.

Can we lay the "dual use at PGE Park" canard to rest once and for all.

Not without a compelling reason to do so. Or at least a half-persuasive one.

MLS plays 95% of it's games on Thursdays or Saturdays. Once a week. Every week. With 78 Beavers games it would be nearly impossible to do that.

Well, then the people currently doing the scheduling must be miracle workers, since they've been doing just that for the last eight years. I just counted nineteen home games on the Timbers 2009 schedule, thirteen of them on Thursday or Saturday. MLS plays thirty games, one game per week, half at home, half on the road. Fifteen home games from mid-March to November. Somehow, I can't see the planners at the Pacific Coast League being suddenly unable to schedule around Thursday and Saturday Timbers games just because the Timbers moved up to the majors.

A big part of the remodel is to widen the concourses and extend the concessions and create suites that will be sellable for Soccer/American Football

How do wider concourses, more concessions, more restrooms, better suites preclude baseball or anything else on the 350 days out of the year the stadium isn't being used for soccer?

I have no problem with making PGE Park a family-friendly, primarily soccer-configured stadium designed to accommodate minor league baseball. Scheduling shouldn't be any more of a problem than it is right now, and a stadium designed to comfortably accommodate 20,000 soccer fans can easily handle the 5,000 or so who show up for baseball.

However, I've got a big problem with shelling out tens of millions for a new stadium for a minor-league baseball team that has demonstrated only minimal community support.

Brian Libby

Douglas, you can lay those PGE Park "co-location" fears to rest. Baseball is going to Lents.

Sean Casey

When it comes to this sports talk, I just don't get it.

Like TV, video games, and other sedentary activities, it's another excuse for obese, bovine America to sit and watch others do stuff.

How passive and pathetic.

You've got enough outlets for your foam-finger, rah-rah crowd. Leave Lents park alone.

Thanks for letting me comment.

[name removed]

A big part of the remodel is to widen the concourses and extend the concessions and create suites that will be sellable for Soccer/American Football

[Brian's note: I've deleted the name and website of this poster because it appeared to be spam.]

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lead Sponsors




Sponsors














Portland Architecture on Facebook

StatCounter

  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad

Paperblogs Network

Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics

Awards & Honors