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Paulson says Beavers will help bring identity to Beaverton

    Portland Beavers owner Merritt Paulson broke his one-month silence Thursday about moving his baseball team to Beaverton, saying the potential partnership could help reinvigorate the city and give it an identity.

    “In my mind, unequivocally,” Paulson said, “the facility would be a grand slam for the city of Beaverton.”

    Yet from his office overlooking PGE Park in Portland, Paulson also said he has “not totally given up on Multnomah County,” either, even as political support in Portland has withered.

    Paulson, 36, agreed to pay $35 million for a Major League Soccer franchise and needs to renovate PGE Park into a soccer-specific stadium for the 2011 season, forcing the Triple-A Beavers’ move. Baseball stadium proposals at Memorial Coliseum and Lents Park lost traction, most notably at Lents, where Paulson was booed during a community meeting in late June.

    Until Thursday, Paulson had declined numerous interview requests and said his July 13 letter to Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle fully explained his interest in Beaverton.

    — Excerpt from The Oregonian, August 14, 2009


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