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Soccer - Pro

MLS plan still alive as Portland council endorses latest plan

    Consider it a little necessary breathing room.

    That doesn’t mean the race to negotiate a complex set of agreements to remodel PGE Park for Major League Soccer while finding a new home for the Triple A Portland Beavers baseball team has the luxury of time.

    Merritt Paulson, who owns the Beavers and the Portland Timbers soccer team, must have a signed finance and construction deal with the city to renovate PGE Park by Sept. 1 to bring Major League Soccer to town in spring 2011.

    The PGE Park work will be phased in to allow the Beavers to play there most of the 2010 season. Initial plans call for adding about 10,000 seats to the existing 19,980 seats, making the stadium more of a bowl than the triangle it is now. Wider concourses and more bathrooms and concession stands will accommodate the expected larger soccer crowds.

    The Portland City Council voted 4-1 on Wednesday to separate the soccer and baseball stadium projects after months of numbers crunching, behind-the-scenes wrangling and emotional community meetings.

    — Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 25, 2009


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