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Portland Exploring Two Sites and $1.2B Cost for Possible Major League Baseball Expansion

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Photo by Jose Francisco Morales on Unsplash

By The Registry Staff

The organization leading the efforts to bring a Major League Baseball (MLB) team to Portland is currently exploring two potential sites for a stadium, according to a prominent local sports advocate.

Jim Etzel, CEO of Sport Oregon, affirmed the news originally reported by long-time Oregon sports columnist John Canzano, stating, “We’ve entered a moment in time where the opportunity for Major League Baseball [in Portland] has never been more real.”

The Portland Diamond Project has been at the forefront of the initiative to bring an MLB team to the city for the past six years. While previous reports hinted at the Lloyd Center as a potential location for the stadium, Canzano revealed that the project is now also considering the RedTail Golf Course in Beaverton, according to a report in the Portland Business Journal.

Renderings obtained by Canzano from the city showcase how a 35,000-seat ballpark could be accommodated within the current space occupied by the mall. Additionally, Holliday Park, situated nearby, would be incorporated into the district, resulting in a total area of approximately 27 acres for the proposed stadium.

No renderings were provided for a stadium at the 18-hole golf course. However, Etzel mentioned that the estimated cost for a new stadium is generally over $1.2 billion. In 2018, the Portland Diamond Project had previously explored the possibility of using the Port of Portland’s Terminal 2 site, but those plans did not materialize.

Considering the Oakland A’s are seriously considering a move to Las Vegas and recent discussions surrounding league expansion, many believe that Portland has a favorable opportunity to secure a new major league sports team. This is especially significant given that Portland is one of the country’s largest cities with relatively few professional sports teams.

However, Etzel emphasized that the ongoing conversations between city officials and the Portland Diamond Project do not guarantee that an MLB team will come to Portland. He stated in the report, “At the end of the day, Portland Diamond Project does not control when baseball’s going to decide to expand or if a team’s going to move, so they’ve been all about positioning Portland to be a viable expansion market, or for an existing team to move to Portland.”

These discussions, along with the recent efforts to bring a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team to Portland, signify the vitality of the city, particularly in the post-pandemic era, according to Etzel. He added, “A lot of the narrative out there is, ‘Oh my god, you guys are dying,’ but we’re still the 22nd or 23rd largest market. So we think what we have is doom and gloom, but a lot of other cities are dealing with the same things we are…if we were able to add one or both franchises, it would be significant for our community, not just for the obvious sports fans, but it would be a big boom to rebuilding Portland.”