June 19, 2009
On April 15, following a long hearing about the future of the Memorial Coliseum, Commissioner Fish urged his Council colleagues to look at decoupling plans for soccer and baseball stadiums in Portland and to look at finding an interim home for the Beavers, commenting that “we’re talking about the biggest development deal in a generation, and we can’t spend more than two weeks on it?”
Yesterday, Mayor Adams agreed. Writes Jim Mayer in today’s Oregonian, “Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard announced that they will move ahead with plans to renovate PGE Park to make way for Major League Soccer without settling where to move the Beavers.
Commissioner Fish has strongly opposed the proposal to site a baseball stadium in Lents Park, for many reasons. Chief among his concerns were the plan to divert affordable housing funds to pay for a stadium and the negative impact on Lents Park. The park provides 38 acres of community treasure and is considered by many the pride of the neighborhood. Yesterday, a Friends of Lents Park rally to protest the proposal to site a baseball stadium at the park drew more than 100 people. Commissioner Fish spoke in support of the group’s effort, saying "as parks commissioner, I am here to join you to protect Lents Park...Your voices are being listened to."
Today, Merritt Paulson announced that he would shelve the proposal to use Lents Park as the home for a new baseball stadium.