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Barry Johnson

Excellent recap, Brian. I still think the management/governance of the Coliseum is a MAJOR problem, one that is prior to its renovation. As you rightly point out, the Blazers have no incentive to maximize the value of the building. But really, what IS the best and highest use for the building? That's a question that requires both research and negotiation, neither of which the Blazers will pursue. No city agency seems obvious to do that sort of work, either, which is why the mayor and city council have foundered on this issue.

What WOULD work? Freeing the Coliseum from the cold, dead grip of the Blazers is a starting point. Then, a mayor committed to setting up a research and negotiation process would help. Maybe creating a nonprofit corporation to manage the building would help, too, one that could consider and implement multiple use possibilities, not just sports and concerts, and respond to changing conditions in the city over time.


In a way, it's too bad that parking garage space isn't big enough to accommodate a new stadium for the Timbers, who could comfortably double their current stadium capacity.


Keep up the great proactive reporting Brian. This building is a masterpiece of Mid-century design. The $$ will work its self out.


It is always so sad to see old building start to show wear and tear. I'm glad to see that some effort is being made of restoration. Keep up the great reporting!


Thanks for a great essay, Brian. I hope the points you make are widely shared and discussed. Even $90,000,000 isn't, really, a lot of money, if the building is used wisely. Portland needs a midsize arena, the convention center needs one, this arena is already in the right place, and it would cost FAR more to build one from scratch. Restored, and with those damn curtains torn down, lit from within, the Memorial Coliseum will be yet another icon in the City of Roses.


If an entire city can get up in arms about the PDX carpet, surely public support can be rallied to support the Coliseum. I would contribute to a Kickstarter campaign or buy a brick, anything to keep an icon of my childhood from meeting the bulldozer!

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