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Cross Country Meets Awarded to Portland-Vancouver Area

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that the Cascade Collegiate Conference and Concordia University have been awarded the 2009 and 2010 Men’s and Women’s Cross Country National Championships. The 54th annual men’s and 30th annual women’s national championship events will take place on November 21, 2009, at the Fort Vancouver Historical Site, in Vancouver, Washington. The following year the event will be contested on November 20, 2010.

“The Pacific Northwest has deep roots in the sport of running and I know the championships will garner strong support and interest from the local community. The ability to bring the men’s and women’s championships to the mecca of a running world will create an exceptional experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans,” said Ruth Stein, NAIA Manager of Championship Sports, Cross Country. “I look forward to working with representatives from the Cascade Collegiate Conference and Concordia University to create an event that continues to gain momentum and exposure for NAIA cross country programs.”

More than 750 student-athletes from the United States and Canada will travel to Vancouver for a chance to compete for NAIA team and individual titles. Fort Vancouver Historical Site, located near Portland, Oregon, is a unique, historic and challenging competition venue that boasts a successful record for hosting world class cross country championship events, including USA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country National Championships and World Cross Country Trials.

“Bringing the NAIA Cross Country Championships to this area is a natural, and we are honored and excited to have been awarded this event for the next two years. This is a special opportunity to add to the outstanding running tradition this region is known for and to showcase the sport of collegiate cross country in a national championship setting,” said Dave Haglund, Commissioner, Cascade Collegiate Conference. “We are especially grateful for all the organizational support we have received in this effort to date, particularly from the Oregon Sports Authority, USA Track and Field of Oregon, Fort Vancouver National Historic Reserve, Travel Portland and the Southwest Washington Convention and Visitors Bureau.”

Matt English, athletics director at Concordia University added, “We are excited to co-host such a high level national event. It will bring great exposure for Concordia, but will also benefit the local communities, especially through the NAIA Champions of Character program.”

“We are excited to welcome hundreds of inspirational student-athletes from around the nation as they come to the Northwest for the 2009 and 2010 NAIA Cross Country Championships at historic Fort Vancouver,” commented Drew Mahalic, CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority.

Following completion of the regular season, the top 32 men’s and 32 women’s teams plus individual qualifiers will compete in an 8,000 meter race (men) and 5,000 meter race (women). This is the first time for student-athletes to compete in the state of Washington under the national championship umbrella.

Tournament qualifiers and event details will be available in November 2009. Fans can follow all the action via the NAIA’s Internet site, www.NAIA.org.

The best football city in America

Portland, Oregon is a different type of city. It’s a national and international model for urban planning, public transit and sustainability. City leaders have never shied away from making visionary choices that have created Portland’s much vaunted liveability, and now they face another such transformational opportunity: do they want to help bring a second major league sports franchise to Portland in the form of Major League Soccer?

The answer should be an easy “yes”.  Soccer and Portland are a natural fit.

Portland is known as Soccer City, USA for a reason. Pele played his last professional game at PGE Park. The University of Portland’s soccer programmes are world class, and the Portland Timbers professional soccer team is one of the top franchises in the USL and possesses in the Timbers Army a famously devoted fan base. Simply put, Portland is the best soccer market in the US without a MLS team.

— Excerpt from guardian.co.uk

eUpdate – MLS Visit, Cyclo-Cross and Winter Tri Nationals

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber and President Mark Abbott visited Portland last month to meet with city leaders and discuss the league’s plans for adding two expansion teams in 2011. “We want one of those teams to be in Portland,” stated Commissioner Garber during his presentation to the City of Portland’s MLS/Triple-A Baseball Task Force, of which Oregon Sports Authority CEO Drew Mahalic is a member. Mayor Sam Adams and City Commissioner Randy Leonard established the task force to evaluate plans to renovate PGE Park for Major League Soccer and build a new Triple-A baseball ballpark for the Portland Beavers.

Click below to view the entire Oregon Sports Authority eUpdate.

Plan to bring MLS to Portland wouldn’t turn a profit until 2015, analysts predict

The company seeking the city’s financial help to renovate PGE Park to bring major league soccer to Portland and to relocate the Beavers minor league baseball team to a new stadium, released financial projections Tuesday that show the combined operation wouldn’t turn a profit until 2015.

Greg Peden and Don Mazziotti, consultants representing owner Merritt Paulson, presented the figures to a city task force analyzing the proposal.

The balance sheet shows a projected net loss of $1.8 million for soccer and baseball teams in 2010, the first year of operations. The losses continue for another five years before revenues eventually overtake expenses.

Mazziotti and Peden were prepared to make a detailed presentation on the financial projections, but they didn’t get far as task force members peppered them with questions. The task force is charged with making a recommendation to the City Council on March 11, to meet a deadline set by Major League Soccer for granting a new team franchise.

— Excerpt from The Oregonian, January 7, 2009