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Examining Portland As A Possible City For MLB Expansion

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Portland's PGE Park (Photo by Ronnie Allen)

This is part of a larger feature on possible MLB expansion. To see the full series, click here.

Portland has been part of the MLB expansion/relocation discussion since the early 2000s. This time around they have something they didn’t have before: financial commitments through the Portland Diamond Project spearheaded by former Nike executive Craig Cheek. As of now, Portland is the furthest along of the West Coast markets.

Population (CSA): 3,201,058 (rank: 18)

DMA: 1,180,980 (rank: 22)

Major Pro Teams: Blazers (NBA), Timbers (MLS)

Clubs That Claim Broadcast Market: Mariners, A’s, Giants

Four Businesses of Interest: Nike World Headquarters, adidas North America, Under Armour regional office, Precision Castparts

Organized effort: Portland Diamond Project

Pluses: $1.3 billion in financial commitments that have been shown to politicians in Portland, as well as MLB; agreement in principle on over 40 acres of property along Portland’s Willamette River, with plans to do a much larger development.

Minuses: Time. Cheek and Co. have concerns being able to hold the investors together for more than five years, a real concern if the A’s and Rays take longer than expected to complete their ballparks.

Open Questions: Can the Mariners, and to a lesser extent A’s and Giants, who have broadcast territory to the south, potentially build consensus to block a Portland deal from happening? While $1.3 billion in commitments is nothing to sneeze at, can they continue to pull additional investors in to bridge a potential $700 million gap to fund the ballpark and cover expansion fees?

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Now An Agent, Bobby Witt Remains On The Players' Side

Witt will represent his son, Bobby Witt Jr., who is expected to be one of the top picks in the 2019 MLB Draft.

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