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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Details on the City's Baseball Stadium Task Force

Posted by Amy J. Ruiz on Wed, Nov 26, 2008 at 8:08 AM

This should be up on Mayor-elect Sam Adams' website at some point today, but here's a sneak peek at some of the details of Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard's newest task force--the one that's going to analyze a proposal to build a new minor league soccer stadium, and revamp PGE Park to entice a major league soccer franchise to Portland.

First up, here's who's on the task force:

Billy Barquin, Attorney, Kootenai Tribe
John Bradley, Chair, Land Use Committee, Northwest Neighborhood Association
Elisa Dozono, Attorney, Miller Nash
Lindsay DeRoche, Vice President, Portland State University
Mike Houck, Executive Director, Urban Greenspaces Institute
Drew Mahalic, President, Portland Oregon Sport Authority
Brad Malson, Beam Development
Steve Maser, Dean, School of Business, Willamette University
John Mohlis, Commissioner, Portland Development Commission; President, Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council
Conrad Myers, Myers & Company
Cora Potter, Chair, Lents Urban Renewal Advisory Committee
Jerry Powell, Chair, Planning Committee, Goose Hollow Neighborhood Association
Tony Stacey, Oregon Veteran Association
Keith Thamajan, Chair, Parks Board, City of Portland, Executive Director, Campfire Inc.
Jackie Thomas, Vice President, Global Brands, Nike Inc.
Mark Williams, Former Director, Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Committee
TBA, Lloyd District Community Association

Maser, who, helpfully, "teaches MBA courses on business-government relations and on conflict management," is chairing the Task Force. The meeting schedule hasn't been announced, but their meetings will be public. They'll be deciding if it's feasible to move ahead with the project, and if so, under what parameters the city will get involved with a new stadium (and, where it'll go--Lents, the Rose Quarter, or Terminal 1?).

Check out the task force's "guiding principles," after the cut, and the outlined schedule.

Guiding Principles

Financial Principles

Existing City programs will not be cut to help fund the project.

Taxpayers should see a return on the public investment in the project in 3 to 5 years.

To the extent possible, revenues from the MLS/baseball enterprise will be used to finance the project.

The City should have mechanisms in the agreements that provide a financial upside to the City should the teams' profitability exceed projections. The City should also build in mechanisms to protect the City's financial position on the downside.

The City will identify any amenities or program expenditures it wants the project to address at the front-end of the discussions with the proposer

The more financial risk the City assumes on the project, the City will need to have more control over those risks.

Financial data and projections developed by the proposer and given to the City will be a public record. All meetings of the task force will be open to the public. The task force will take public testimony prior to finalizing any recommendations.

Social Principles

MLS and baseball facilities will be required to enter into Good Neighbor Agreements to minimize impacts on surrounding neighborhoods due to activities at these facilities. The City and proponent will initiate discussions with adjacent neighborhoods and properties over the project and keep affected parties informed over the course of project development and execution.

The City will work with Portland Statue University to ensure that changes to PGE Park meet the needs of the university.

The City and proponent will strive to find ways to benefit area high school sports activities and facilities and bring attention to these activities.

There will be no net loss of outdoor athletic fields within the neighborhood(s) where the project is developed.

City goals and requirements for M/W/ESB participation and for Workforce Training and Hiring will apply to the project

State Prevailing Wage requirements will apply to project construction activities

The City and project proponents will make efforts called for in the Local Business Initiative to promote the growth and economic health of locally based businesses.

The City's Fair Wage policy will apply to employees at PGE Park and the new baseball park.

Environmental Principles

For any remodeling of existing facilities, every effort will be made to reuse and/or recycle all materials removed from the facilities.

The project will strive to meet the City's Green Buildings Policies and will meet a LEED Silver Certification and strive to achieve a LEED Gold Certification.

The team owner/stadium operator will commit to implementing sustainable practices for facility management and operations.

And here's the current schedule outline for the project:

November-December

Task Force

Start-up - background on City sports facilities, presentation on MLS proposal, facility siting alternatives, affirm project guiding principles

Review consultant product on projected team financial performance, project funding strategies, projects in other markets

City consultant work of project funding options, evaluation of team financial performance, research on MLS projects in other markets

Formation of City negotiating team

Determine specifics of what is required by MLS for March franchise award

January

Task Force

Updates on project costs, funding options; form tentative position on project feasibility and funding strategy

Review progress report from City negotiating team and outline of deal points

February

Task Force

Review final products from consultant team

Prepare draft recommendations and take public testimony

Prepare final recommendations and present to City Council for consideration

March

If project determined to be financially feasible, prepare binding agreement between City and proponent

In conjunction with proponent, prepare final submittal to MLS

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