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Why not make it a market place, our version of Pike Place? It could include urban farm demonstrations, and almost act as a giant greenhouse. Just a thought.

Douglas K.

My thought: why change the Coliseum's function? Keep it as an arena, with fewer but larger seats. (The current seats are really cramped, having been built for 1950's-vintage American butts.) With 8,000 to 9,000 seats, it would be a great permanent venue for the Winter Hawks (36 home games a year) and a WNBA team (17 home games a year). WNBA games normally draw around 8,000 people, which would make the Coliseum a perfectly sized venue if someone were to bring women's basketball back to town.

As a concert venue, it would be ideal for concerts that are expected to draw from 4,000 to 10,000 people ... too large for the Keller Auditorium; but far too small for the Rose Garden.

Between various sporting events, concerts, and political rallies, it shouldn't be that hard to fill the arena at least two nights a week throughout the year.


Yeah, I really hope the bowl is saved. It is a core design element that makes it a historically significant building. If you demolish the bowl and keep the skin/shell, I think it would be a preservation failure - you might as well demolish the whole building. In my humble opinion, the shell is not historically significant without the bowl inside it. I hope the fight to keep the building isn't over and that people continue to fight for the whole building.


Great idea MarkGMan ! , one giant foodie marketplace , dry and warm 12 months a year , lots of truck /loading for farmers , lots of parking [paid] , bring in a petting zoo so kids can learn about animals besides the cat. Then set up tons of food booths. A great place to bring tourists and out-of-towners.
PS Mr Mayor , the Bowl is integral to the Architecture ,
celebrate it ! I did an Artwork imagining the MC as a city garden with each seat turned into a personal planter for all our Portland Gardeners. They come down often to care for their plant , hang out , do tea!


I really would like for Portland to somewhere have a large horticultural conservatory, but despite its expansive glass walls, the building doesn't seem as though it would adapt well to that idea. Such a conservatory/greenhouse needs a glass on top too.

Th MC looks great in the picture above, gracefully commanding the surrounding area. It seems amazing that the Rose Garden arena was able to be stuffed in alongside it. Decisions like this seem to be a part of the price of having the city host a major league sports team.

The MC's design and the site it's located on could have made it part of a great performance art center for Portland on the order of Lincoln Center in NYC. In fact, talking 'blue sky' that's what probably still should happen; move the Blazers out to Delta Park to a new arena, remove the RG, then expand and refit the MC for the great variety of creative expression represented by the performing arts genre; dance, theater, music, opera and art.

Eric Cantona

i've advocated for essentially the same thing that Douglas K. talks about upstream. one other possibility to add would be the PSU basketball program.

and no, TA faithful, this scenario will not compete w/ the RG, and will not cause Paul Allen to take his team and go home. what it would do, is provide more paying customers in the vicinity of whatever hokey "entertainment district" they come up with.


I completely agree with the first post by Douglas K. although I would set the capacity at an even 10,000.

The Winterhawks don't draw well enough - being a minor league team - to be filling the Rose Garden arena. A renovated 10,000 seat MC will keep them in town.

Bands that attract 3,000 to 10,000 people will have a remodeled arena to perform - in addition to other performing acts that may draw a similar amount - the Circus, DEW events, graduations, famous speakers, etc. The Seattle area has two of these smaller-style arenas in Everett and Kent.

A large and mid-sized arena adjacent to each other creates some synergy of use. These two arenas work well in conjunction with each other - the US Figure Skating championships were held in PDX a few years ago as they liked the idea of the two arenas next to each other as did the US Davis Cup tennis.

Turning the MC into a large bowl of fruit stands and craft booths I don't believe would be good. When the entire Rose Quarter gets redeveloped with new buildings - a Farmer's market could be located closer to the river next to a new boat ramp.


Although I was against MC's preservation, what's done is done, and I completely agree with Douglas, Eric, and others that they should keep the MC in its present form and just bring it up to date. Some possibilities:

-Update the scoreboard
-Reduce seating capacity, add some suites (if possible)
-Widen the hockey rink to standard size (again, if feasible)
-Definitely make it friendly for PSU basketball
-Do something creative and different with the exhibit halls which are clearly not needed
-Make sure that the financial arrangements dovetails so that it doesn't create an adversarial relationship with the convention center or the (privately funded) Rose Garden
-Preserve the ability of MC to cohost events with the Rose Quarter (conventions, Davis Cup, hopefully an NBA All Star Game someday, etc.)
-And yes, try to make it environmentally friendly (leverage PSU on that front)

Marc Hull

Great picture. Too bad all that concrete couldn't have been put on the national historic register, too. They don't make it like that any more. Really harkens back to some of the great parking lots of Greece and Rome.

Brian Libby

That is really funny, Marc - bravo! I'm glad to hear you don't have a criticism of the building itself. And you do bring up an important point: that there is plenty to fine-tune and change around the building without ruining the greatness of the building itself.

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