Merritt Paulson is obviously weary of sounding like he is threatening the city so, in his opinion piece today in the O, he very carefully makes a point that I have mused about before: without this deal to bring MLS and build a new baseball park, will the city be considerably worse off then it is today?
People who criticize the deal seem to assume that Paulson (or a new owner) can afford business as usual, but I am not at all sure that is true. Beavers crowds are paltry and Timbers crowds are not much better - are these franchises viable in the long run as tenants of PGE park? I doubt it. The Beavers are probably going to need to move anyway and the Timbers are not going to service the debt to PGE park. Without a permanent tenant in PGE park, the city is on the hook for all of the past debt. So while the risk of doing the deal has been discussed ad-nauseum, the risk of not doing a deal seems pretty high as well.
The risk to the servicing of the existing debt exists in either scenario, the appropriate question is: is it higher or lower with the plan? This is the story I wish the The Oregonian would cover.