Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oregonian Edition: MLS, Credit and Taxes

David Sarasohn has an Op-Ed in today's Oregonian (not on web site) in which he suggests the MLS team and the Beavers could share PGE park and in which he makes the erroneous claim that "several" MLS teams share stadia with baseball teams.  This is demonstrably false and very easy to check - only Kansas City shares at the moment in a temporary two year arrangement while they develop a soccer-specific stadium.  It also ignores the fact that on most days, the Beavers fill less than 10% of the seats of PGE park making for a fairly dismal fan experience.  I think it needs to be recognized by members of the press that MLS is the only current viable plan for PGE Park, full stop.  MLS will not work in PGE park sharing with the Beavers because of space constraints (permanent stands will need to be constructed long the 18th Ave side) and the difficulty providing a top quality natural grass field with a baseball infield.   MLS has made it clear to all teams that the sharing will not work and most MLS teams are either playing in, or in the process of, developing soccer-specific stadiums.  What to do with the Portland Beavers is a tricky problem, and the abandonment of the Rose Quarter so quickly thanks to a tiny, but vocal group who want to preserve Memorial Coliseum for ... what exactly? ... makes their continued presence in the city questionable.  And maybe having them depart for the 'burbs is the right answer.  Saltzman's Leonard's insistence that his support for the MLS plan is contingent on keeping the Beavers is myopic and may end up costly when, in a few years, PGE Park is vacant.  

Also in Sunday's paper, Ryan Frank has a great story on Tom Moyer and his stalled tower.

And finally A very nice editorial by Susan Nielsen asking the same questions I have: why hasn't there been any real effort on the part of Democrats to go after wholesale reform of the states fiscal system.  This dovetails nicely with a good article on the state tax system in general - mirroring some efforts I have made to try and make sense of it.  Dems' insistence on piecemeal hole plugging is pretty troubling and their justifications pretty weak in my opinion.

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