Over the summer I pissed a bunch of local soccer fans off when I criticized the city’s plan to undertake a $75 million renovation of PGE Park. That plan, which looked foolhardy then, seems downright stupid now that the economy is in the tank. The Blazers might keep selling out the Rose Garden, but 20,000 people aren’t going to come out for an MLS game. I mean, come on, the league couldn’t even keep David Beckham in America.
Sorry, but facts are facts: PGE Park houses three marginal teams. The Padres stink, and that means that the Beavers are going to stink, too. The Portland State football team is about the most uninteresting thing possible, but they still make money even if they only get a crowd when Montana is in town. And yes, of course, the Timbers. I won’t hate, they are pretty cool and so is the Timbers Army…but that’s not enough to convince me that they need a fancy park, or that a fancy park and crappy MLS team would draw well.
We’ll follow this plan, but know one thing: this is on the city’s way back burner now. Not when they’re talking about cutting back basic services.
UPDATE: The only reason MLS draws well in Seattle is because they don’t have a professional basketball team competing in the Association, and the other two teams are the Mariners and the Seahawks.