PORTLAND, Ore. -- City officials announced an agreement to renovate PGE Park for pro soccer without touching Portland's urban renewal or general fund finances.
Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard called the stadium negotiations a done deal.
It has been a long and tough negotiation to achieve an agreement with adequate safeguards for the City, but the protections for the City in this deal are unrivaled by similar agreements around the country, Commissioner Randy Leonard said in a press release.
Roy Kaufmann, the communications director for Mayor Adams, said that deal was aligned with Portland's values while protecting taxpayers from financial risk.
The $31 million project will be financed primarily by Paulson and his limited liability company, Peregrine LLC, according to details of the agreement released Thursday.
Any upfront expenditures by the city toward the renovation will be secured by the next 25 years' worth of PGE Park operating revenues, a personal guarantee made by Paulson to the city, Kauffman said.
City Hall's latest deal stipulates an unspecified annual contribution from Merritt Paulson toward the city's community soccer fields and the Portland Parks Foundation. It also announced that PGE Park would be used for Portland State University football.
Leonard said the plan required from Merritt Paulson a 25-year operating agreement that prevents moving the Portland Timbers away from Portland for at least 25 years. Portland Timbers MLS
The deal now must be approved by a full vote of City Council. Commissioners will vote next Tuesday, Jan. 27, Kauffman said.
Soccer fans and the Timbers Army will surround the field on all four sides, creating an intimate - and rowdy - arena-like experience in PGE Park. Major League Soccer regular season play begins in 2011. Video:Timbers Army (YouTube)
Beavers sacrificed in pro soccer pursuit
The stadium renovation became controversial last summer when Adams and Leonard proposed using Urban Renewal Fund money to finance a new baseball stadium - either at Lents Park or on the Memorial Coliseum site - for the city's Triple Ateam, the Beavers.
MLS officials had stipulated that PGEPark be renovated primarily for soccer games, leaving the Beavers scrambling for a new home. A proposal to knock down Memorial Coliseum for an open air ball park was defeated. Plans to build a stadium at Lents Park struck out. City officials in Beaverton and Vancouver expressed interest in the Beavers but the franchise's future in the metro area remains far from certain.
KGW News Reporters Kyle Iboshi, David Krough and Randy Neves contributed to this article.