Portland Diamond Project (PDP), the organisation behind the effort to bring Major League Baseball (MLB) to the US city, has announced it has signed an agreement in principle for a site on which to build a ballpark.
The agreement with the Port of Portland is to develop the Port’s 45-acre Terminal 2 property around a stadium with a capacity of 32,000 to 34,000. PDP founder and president Craig Cheek said: “We believe this has the potential to be a transformative landmark project for this city.
“Building an iconic, state-of-the-art ballpark along the Willamette River will catalyse economic development and capture great views of both the urban scale of the city and regional character of the Pacific Northwest.”
The letter of intent with the Port kicks off a collaborative process with the City of Portland, and local communities, to create an MLB ballpark and community destination. “We’re committed to building a sustainable, equitable, and accessible ballpark that reflects what makes Portland such a special place to live,” Cheek said.
“That means outstanding locally sourced food and beverage amenities, environmentally sustainable construction and operations, opportunities for makers and small businesses, and an atmosphere that celebrates diversity and inclusion and is welcoming to all Portlanders.”
Terminal 2, which for decades handled commodities such as steel rail, bulk ores, and other oversized international cargo, offers approximately 45 acres of riverfront property with more than 2,000 linear feet of waterfront. Initial concepts for the stadium include eye-catching elements such as a gondola suite and bike tailgating opportunities.
“For the past year, we’ve been highly focused on securing the best possible property for development of a ballpark and have deeply analysed multiple sites,” Cheek said. “Although additional options continue to present themselves, we are excited to announce that Terminal 2 is our preferred location and want to thank the Port of Portland for being such a great partner in this vision.”
PDP launched in May and is seeking an MLB team by 2022 at the earliest. The group has star backing, with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, singer Ciara, in June signing on as its first outside investors.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has repeatedly said expansion will not be looked at until after the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays get new ballparks. Projects for both teams are currently in the works and the league is said to be targeting a long-term plan to add two franchises, bringing it up to 32 clubs.
Images: Portland Diamond Project