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The Beavers’ future resides in Beaverton – Drew Mahalic

    The recent resolution by the Portland City Council paving the way for the renovation of PGE Park and the acquisition of a Major League Soccer expansion franchise marked a tremendous accomplishment for the city — one that the Oregon Sports Authority is proud to be a part of. Now it’s time for us to ensure the future of the 100-year tradition that is Portland Beavers baseball.

    That future resides in Beaverton.

    An intimate new ballpark in the Beaverton central core can create a new and exciting community gathering place with uses far beyond Beavers baseball, generating new jobs, revitalizing area neighborhoods and businesses, improving property values and creating family memories for generations to come. Beaverton is an ideal place to build a new multipurpose stadium, a venue that can not only serve as the home for 72 Beavers games each spring and summer, but also as a regional venue for 150 other events each year, including concerts; amateur, youth and school sports; graduation ceremonies and community events limited only by peoples’ imaginations.

    Washington County is already home to much of the Beavers’ fan base, not to mention some of the best youth and amateur sports programs in the state, if not the nation. Combine all of these uses and it’s not hard to see that a new stadium would be a significant catalyst for Beaverton and Washington County lodging, restaurants and retail.

    Just minutes from downtown Portland, Beaverton is accessible to the entire region via MAX light rail, WES commuter rail, bus service and highways. Beaverton has ample commercially zoned property offering, not only quality stadium sites with parking, but just as important, meaningful opportunities for extensive economic development, private investment and redevelopment around the venue.

    The Oregon Sports Authority believes there’s a need for an organized effort to coalesce community support for the move. So we’re launching a “Bring the Beavers to Beaverton” campaign. We’re encouraged by the vision shown by Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle and the City Council, and are equally encouraged by the initial positive response from Beaverton and Washington County residents.

    With support from a 39-member advisory board composed of business, community and youth sports leaders, we intend to provide an organized voice for all of those who want to bring the Beavers to Beaverton in 2011. The central piece of this campaign is beavers2beaverton.com, where individuals and businesses can register their support, contact the Beaverton City Council and help spread the word to family and friends.

    The Oregon Sports Authority has long been immersed in leveraging sport to create meaningful achievements to enhance the region’s economy and quality of life. In the last few months alone, Oregon has enjoyed both economic success and a true sense of community spirit as a result of the sold-out NCAA men’s basketball championships, the inspirational resurgence of the Trail Blazers and the many fun-filled festivities as part of the Triple-A All-Star Game at PGE Park. It’s now time to ensure a long-term solution for one of the true sports institutions in our region: The Beavers — in Beaverton.

    It just makes sense.

    Drew Mahalic is chief executive officer of the Oregon Sports Authority.

    Guest Opinion from OregonLive.com, August 18, 2009


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