Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Portland baseball bid stranded

The city's drive fizzles, leaving organizers to regroup a year after a bill rallied hopes of winning a major league team
By JOHN HUNT
The Oregonian
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Oregon State Capitol is quiet now, the long 2003 legislative session a distant memory.

There's no buzz in Portland's City Hall, either, despite a news conference planned this week to unveil a finished baseball stadium finance plan.

One year ago this week, it was anything but quiet.

Senate Bill 5, the stadium finance bill, dramatically passed the Senate and touched off a raucous celebration among baseball proponents throughout the state. With a projected $150 million accounted for, and a passage in the House and the governor's signature formalities, Portland had taken the lead in the race for the Montreal Expos.

"It doesn't seem like a year ago, nor does it seem as momentous as it did at the time," said Sen. Ryan Deckert, D-Beaverton, who led the bill to its comeback victory in the Senate.

Momentum, if there is such a thing in the relocation of the Expos, has been lost. Major League Baseball is focusing on four areas for the team's possible relocation in 2005: Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Norfolk, Va.

Portland, barring a collapse of those four areas, will wait for another team to threaten relocation. The Oakland A's, Florida Marlins and Minnesota Twins have stadium issues, and their owners could look to Portland for help.

Read the entire article here on the Oregonian website.