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July 11, 2009
Paulson, Portland push new Timbers plan
The $15 million hole in Merritt Paulson's $31 million soccer stadium plan has been filled, the Portland Timbers owner and city officials announced yesterday. Under the new plan, Paulson would pay $8 million in cash, and prepay $11.1 million in rent and ticket taxes; the city, meanwhile, would kick in $11.2 million in future tax revenue, plus a $700,000 development tax break.
So who would actually end up paying the $31 mil to convert PGE Park to soccer-only? It's hard to say — if the previous plan was confusing, the new one is if anything more so: The $11.1 million in prepayments by Paulson, in particular, looks more like a loan than a private expense. The key point here, though, seems to be that this plan avoids using urban renewal money, which was a no-go with some city commissioners; since Paulson has already ditched the more-controversial minor-league baseball stadium plan for the time being, he seems to have given himself a leg up on getting the soccer deal done. We'll know more in two weeks, when the council has to vote on the new financing package.