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Baseball

Campaign for Beaverton baseball gains momentum, controversy

    The baseball grandstanding began today as a sports advocacy group and local politicians launched a campaign to move the Portland Beavers to Beaverton.

    But in the backdrop: Picketing small-business owners concerned that one possible stadium location could cost them their jobs.

    The dueling scenes played out under scorching conditions at the Beaverton High School baseball diamond, where the Oregon Sports Authority began rallying efforts to support moving minor league baseball to the ‘burbs.

    “It could be the best thing that ever happened to Beaverton,” said Drew Mahalic, the sports group’s chief executive officer, after a 25-minute press conference.

    Earlier this month, Beaverton hired two legal teams to pursue an agreement with Portland Beavers owner Merritt Paulson. The 36-year-old has been awarded a Major League Soccer franchise and needs to renovate Portland’s PGE Park for the 2011 season, forcing the Beavers’ relocation. Efforts to keep the team in Portland have stalled.

    Today, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle said he envisions more than a baseball stadium — a multipurpose facility that could host dozens of events such as charity runs, community theater and job fairs.

    — Excerpt from The Oregonian, August 19, 2009


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