MLS- Expansion

Trouble in Timber Land?


Could the dream of having three Pacific Northwest MLS teams be in danger of not happening? According to this Bloomberg story on the Portland MLS expansion bid, the stadium projects necessary for Portland's bid to work are in jeopardy unless a $15 million spending gap is addressed.

Yes, you may recall that the vote taken a month ago by the city council, which helped clear the way for Portland's MLS expansion, included an amendment that left a potential $15 million void in the funding for the two stadium projects associated with the Portland MLS bid. Back then it was unclear what that funding gap would do to the project, but now with Portland expansion head Merritt Paulson insisting that his group cannot pick up that $15 million difference, that funding gap could create serious problems.

So what does this all mean? It sure looks like some political posturing between two sides who want the other to pick up the remaining $15 million tab. Paulson wants the city to create an Urban Enterprise Zone that could help generate the tax revenue to cover the shortfall while the city would surely prefer that Paulson pick up the tab.

Will this prevent Portland from arriving in MLS in two years? I wouldn't bet on it but I would bet on that threat being made in the coming weeks and months.

What do you think of this story? Worried the Portland bid will fall through? Confident the Timbers will join MLS in 2011? Are you a Seattle Sounders fan conflicted about rooting for Portland's MLS bid to succeed?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Knuckles

    I think Portland will get in, I just don’t like how Paulson is doing it (the stadium, that is, not the team itself). I, too, hate the Timbers more than any other team on the face of the earth. Even more than the A’s, but not having the Timbers and the Whitecaps in the same league as the Sounders is just plain wrong.


  • Fred Smilek

    WE NEED THAT TEAM!!!!!!!!

    The Society to Save Endangered Species was formed by Fred Smilek and two of his colleagues; Charlie Mack & Jonathan Korny. Fred Smilek stays active in raising awareness for this cause. [www.fredjsmilek.com]


  • GermaneGackass

    Quick question from a huge US soccer fan who hasn’t followed the MLS very much. Why hasn’t San Diego been considered for a franchise? Talk about a built in stadium that fills when a friendly is played, built in soccer crazy populace, and perfect weather. Sounds like a no-brainer to me, but then again I guess we all know how well Vancouver etc do with North American professional leagues.


  • manunited

    put the team in saint louis. that city will sell out the tickets faster than vancouver did.


  • squirts

    Oh. My. Word. Merritt Paulson’s father has a net worth of around 700 million dollars. I know the welfare queen mindset exists in professional sports and what-not, but for craps sakes flip the bill for your own investment if you really care about us timbers fans.


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