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October 15, 2009
Paulson threatens Timbers deal if Beavers don't get new home
The Portland Beavers and the city of Beaverton announced a tentative stadium agreement this week, and Beavers owner decided to mark the occasion the old-fashioned way — with a threat. "If I don't get a baseball deal done, I'm not going to finalize the deal with Portland," Paulson told the Beaverton city council Tuesday night. "So MLS will not come to Portland unless I do a deal for a new baseball park." Which is a change from what he said four months ago, but new times demand new threats.
As for the mystery of how a Beaverton ballpark, that seems to have been resolved. According to The Oregonian:
In Beaverton, Paulson would pay $9 million upfront and make annual rent and ticket-tax payments for 25 years, beginning at more than $870,000. The city would sell revenue bonds to cover $50 million, to be repaid through higher property and utility taxes.
Taxpayers would be on the hook for about 60 percent of total project costs.
That's a bit oblique, but what it seems to be saying is that: For a $59 million stadium, Paulson would kick in $9 million in cash and pay off about $15 million in bonds; the other $35 million would come out of taxpayers' pockets.
A citizens' group calling itself Let Our Voters Vote has launched a petition drive to force a public referendum on the stadium project. Mayor Denny Doyle has already countered by arguing that the monthly cost of a stadium would be less than half the price of a movie ticket; it's got to be only a matter of time before somebody translates that into pennies.