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Baseball

Talks heat up over plan to bring baseball stadium to Beaverton

    The hits for Triple-A Beaverton Beavers baseball – and the possible construction of a stadium – just keep on coming.

    This week saw the launch of the Oregon Sports Authority’s official campaign to bring the Beavers to Beaverton and a presentation at council that forecasted a new dynamic: a multi-use stadium as the central feature for wide-ranging downtown redevelopment.

    Opponents of a stadium at the former Westgate theater site, near the Round at Beaverton Central in downtown, also continued their public campaign against that option. They also raised concerns about why the city hasn’t been forthcoming with all of the possible stadium locations.

    Beaverton city officials said nearly a month ago that they were interested in attracting the Beavers, a Triple-A baseball team owned by Merritt Paulson, which will be forced out of Portland’s PGE Park due to the expansion of a Major League Soccer franchise in 2011. Any baseball stadium construction would involve both public and private financing.

    At an afternoon press conference on Tuesday, held on the Beaverton High School baseball field, the Oregon Sports Authority officially launched their campaign in support of moving the Beavers to Beaverton.

    The statewide nonprofit organization exists to advocate Oregon’s professional and amateur sports activities. Drew Mahalic, Oregon Sports Authority’s CEO, said that group’s funding comes from more than 100 corporate donors. Among the donors is Paulson, who also sits on the organization’s board of directors.

    The campaign, Mahalic said, will attempt to grow and publicize community support for the new stadium in a “grassroots” fashion. He said the organization will go out and visit Beaverton businesses to garner their help and will also give away materials such as signs, stickers and buttons for those who wish to publicly display their support for moving the Beavers to Beaverton. A Web site, www.beavers2beaverton.com, was also created to be a sort of clearinghouse for those who support the campaign.

    — Excerpt from the Beaverton Valley Times, August 20, 2009


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