750 The Game Staff
The MLB to PDX effort is back in the headlines.
Our own John Canzano reports that the Portland Diamond Project is preparing to make a written land grant offer to the City of Portland for the RedTail Golf Course property and its 164 acres.
Reports Canzano at JohnCanzano.com:
The MLB to PDX project has zeroed in on a $50 million land purchase in the Portland metropolitan area — the RedTail Golf Course. The result would be a 164-acre stadium site that would be the biggest land development in MLB history.
Said Craig Cheek: “We’re not playing small ball — it’s time to go.”
Canzano elaborated on his report on Tuesday’s Bald Faced Truth radio show (afternoons 3-6 p.m. on 750 The Game) and said a recent closed-door meeting at City Hall has helped get the ball rolling.
“Here’s what I know,” said Canzano. “I know there was a meeting on Friday, a closed door meeting at City Hall. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler was there, his staff was there, the leaders of the Portland Diamond Project were there, and they basically announced that they’re going big. They’re going after the 164-acre RedTail Golf Course property.”
Canzano says this marks the end of considering the Lloyd Center mall property as a potential ballpark site.
“They tried to go down the road with Lloyd Center, it’s only 27 acres, it’s too small to do what they want to do with the ballpark. It also has a variety of entanglements with leases and other contracts, and it was just going to take too much time to get that off the ground.”
Canzano says this latest pivot by the MLB to PDX group comes at the right time.
“We’re in year six of the Diamond Project,” Canzano said. “Not the first pivot by the group. But it appears as though they have a plan. And it’s a big plan. And maybe it’s the plan that Major League Baseball wants to hear. Because Big League Utah, that pro-MLB effort in Salt Lake City, they’re busy putting up billboards, they’re busy trying to woo the A’s to come play in Salt Lake City while their new stadium in Vegas gets built. It is a highly evolved and more sophisticated effort in Salt Lake City. And so I kind of see this RedTail thing as the answer to that.”
There will be plenty of skepticism about the RedTail Golf Course location and its impact on traffic of an already highly congested suburban area, but Canzano said he can see the vision from the Portland Diamond Project and its founder and president, Craig Cheek.
“Craig Cheek told me it’s the culmination of six years of blood, sweat, and tears,” said Canzano. “They’ve done the appraisals on the land. Developers have been consulted. City leaders in Beaverton and Tigard have had positive discussions with the group. And so now, the next step is the Diamond Project will present a written offer to purchase the property from the City of Portland, there will be a vote by the mayor and the four city commissioners. That property is estimated to be worth $50 Million, maybe $55 Million, somewhere in that neighborhood. And it seems as though the Diamond Project is taking their swing.”
Canzano adds he is not certain whether or not the pitch will be successful to MLB, but it is a better plan than the previous one.
“People keep asking me, ‘is it going to happen?’,” said Canzano. “I don’t know. But I can tell you it wasn’t happening with Lloyd Center. Too much red tape. Too small. The RedTail site – 164 acres. Would be the largest Major League stadium development in history. It would be the biggest thing that Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball owners have ever laid their eyes upon. And so I think that’s the angle. If you’re Portland, that’s the angle.
“I like at the very least, that the Portland Diamond Project appears ready to spend 50 to 55 million dollars, to go get this piece of property, and present it to Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball, and develop a stadium and an entertainment district, and make a run of it.”
Canzano said that Cheek and other leaders are starting to communicate on some of the logistics.
“I talked to Craig Cheek today, he seemed excited about it,” Canzano said. “I also got my eyes on a letter that he wrote to the mayor along with a bunch of other construction experts and developers and architects and designers and city leaders. It looks like everybody’s kind of lined up behind it. We’ll see what happens.”
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.
Listen to Canzano’s full commentary on his report of the Portland Diamond Project preparing to make an offer for the RedTail Golf Course location at the 18:10 mark of Tuesday’s show podcast below.