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Soccer - Pro

Soccer task force says: Play ball!

    Portland’s Major League Soccer Task Force today backed a proposal to use city money to renovate PGE Park for the Portland Timbers and build a new baseball stadium for the Portland Beavers.

    The group voted to forward a 13-page recommendation to the City Council backing the idea, but outlining a detailed list of concerns and conditions that members hope the council will consider.

    Merritt Paulson, who owns the Timbers and Beavers, is bidding on one of two expansion teams up for sale this year by Major League Soccer. Price tag: $40 million of his own money. He wants the city to borrow another $85 million to upgrade PGE Park for soccer, as required by the league, and build a new home for the Beavers.

    Paulson has been negotiating for weeks with Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard, who have said they support the idea if the city’s general fund is protected. The general fund, which pays for basic services such as police and fire protection, usually is the back-stop for any city loans.

    — Excerpt from, March 3, 2009


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