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October 30, 2009
Beaverton stadium deal "a terrible return"
Don Bauder of the San Diego Reader is one of the best writers on stadium issues in the nation, and this week he takes on the Portland Beavers stadium proposal in Beaverton, Oregon. (The Beavers are a San Diego Padres farm club.) He notes that in addition to the $35 million in stadium construction that Beaverton taxpayers would be on the hook for, the city would have to provide parking spaces for fans:
[Councilmember Betty Bode] figures that 1500 spaces would cost around $37.5 million. In claiming the tax bite will be small, proponents are using "phony figures," says Bode.
Rob Drake, who was Beaverton mayor for four terms (1993-2008), says that even if the number of spaces is cut to 750, parking would still come to $20 million.
Drake also wonders what would happen to Beaverton if nearby Portland got a major-league team before the stadium was paid off. Sports economist Roger Noll, meanwhile, rips apart our old friend Economic Research Associates' economic impact report, and says of the Beaverton project: "It's a terrible return — obviously not worth it."