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Group submits offers to buy Portland sites for ballpark

April 18, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The backers of an effort to bring a professional baseball team to Portland have submitted formal proposals to buy sites to potentially build a stadium.

The backers operating under the Portland Diamond Project have sent offers for two possible sites for a ballpark near downtown, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday.

The management group sent an unsolicited offer to buy the headquarters of Portland Public Schools, district spokesman Dave Northfield said.

The site in the Rose Quarter north of the Moda Center complex was valued at more than $100 million, according to county assessor records.

Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero met twice with representatives from the group, which is led by retired Nike vice president Craig Cheek and former Trail Blazers announcer Mike Barrett.

“The superintendent listened and reiterated our core mission and priorities, which focus on improving student outcomes,” Northfield said.

Northfield said the district has not actively marketed the property but will consider the offer. The school board is scheduled to discuss the offer Thursday.

The group is also considering an industrial site in northwest Portland. The manufacturing company Esco owns a large property in that area and has indicated that it wants to sell a portion.

The backers have declined to disclose how much they offered for each site.

The group is looking to build a stadium with 32,000 seats as part of a “vibrant, walkable” multi-use complex with residential areas, spokesman John McIssac said.

The group does not intend to ask for public funding to construct the ballpark should the plans proceed, McIssac said.

The group has hired Kansas City-based Populous Architects, which has designed several ballparks for professional teams, to work with a Portland-based firm to design the stadium.

Previous efforts from other groups to lure MLB teams to the city failed in 2003 and 2007.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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