Having been reduced to an afterthought in the race for the Montreal Expos, Portland, Oregon nonetheless issued its latest stadium finance plan today. (PDF of the complete plan here, thanks to businessofbaseball.com.) The $350 million proposal breaks down as follows:
- $115 million in state income taxes from players and team execs
- $85 million from a 10% ticket tax
- $56 million in surcharges on businesses in a “stadium district”
- $29 million from concessions and merchandise sales
- $25 million in personal seat license sales
- $12 million in rent paid by the team
- $10 million in tax-increment financing
This looks a heckuva lot like the last stadium finance package put forth in Portland, and has the same pitfalls: the income tax figures are likely overly optimistic, the PSLs and concessions money would come out of the same revenue streams that a team owner would want so as to enrich themselves, the workings of the “stadium district” remain a mystery, and so on. At least one leading mayoral candidate has already declared the plan an unacceptable fiscal burden.
If the plan somehow has legs, it’s less likely to be used for the Expos than to lure another disgruntled franchise like the Oakland A’s, Minnesota Twins, or Florida Marlins. Or more likely, given Portland’s smallish media market, as a bludgeon to convince those teams’ present homes to cough up some gruntlement.