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Soccer - Pro

Talks continue on converting PGE Park for soccer play

    Nearly two months after an initial deal expired, negotiators for the city and Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson are still pounding out details for a final agreement to reconfigure PGE Park for Major League Soccer in 2011.

    The final contract with Paulson will probably be ready “sometime after the first of the year. It just takes a lot of time and back and forth to sort out some of these details,” said Ty Kovatch, chief of staff for city Commissioner Randy Leonard.

    “Our philosophy has been to be as diligent with the details as possible,” Kovatch said, “because this is an agreement that the city and (Paulson) will have to live with for 25 years.”

    Kovatch said the details still under discussion include brick-and-mortar responsibilities such as who pays to repair the field or the seats.

    Getting to yes on a final agreement is growing urgent. Roy Kaufmann, communications director for Mayor Sam Adams, said work on the park’s conversion needs to begin in the first quarter of 2010 for Major League Soccer to unveil its initial Portland season as planned in 2011.

    — Excerpt from, December 1, 2009


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