PORTLAND, Ore. — Many have wondered who has financed the effort to bring Major League Baseball to Portland and on Wednesday night we learned the answer.
Portland Diamond Project released the names of the group’s charter investors. As first reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive, the group is comprised of 12 families, most of them from the Portland area.
Here are the investors:
- Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
- Recording artist and entrepreneur Ciara
- Former MLB player Darwin Barney, father David P. Barney and brother David M. Barney
- Retired business owner and philanthropist Samantha Richardson
- Former CEO of Platt Electric Harvey Platt and wife Sandy
- Opus Agency co-founder and restauranteur Grant Hammersley
- Portland Gear founder and CEO Marcus Harvey
- Kamp Grizzly founder Dan Portrait and wife Sheena
- Avamere Group founder and CEO Rick Dillon
- DWFritz Automation CEO Mike Fritz
- Nike Inc. Vice President of Global Footwear Product Creation Mark Allen and wife Peg
- Jevo founder and entrepreneur Tyler Williams
- Real estate broker Kelsey Williams
"These individuals’ early involvement and belief in PDP stem from personal passion for both the game of baseball and their community,” PDP founder and CEO Craig Cheek said. “Very early on, they recognized the unique opportunity we have to leave a legacy for the City of Portland that extends far beyond the foul lines.”
No specific numbers about how much the investors contributed were released.
The charter investors have funded the group’s overall operations, including ballpark and development design, legal services, government relations, communications, community engagement and branding, PDP said.
While some investors will continue to contribute, additional investors will join the effort to fund the ballpark and acquire an MLB team, PDP said.
Cheek told The Oregonian/OregonLive the projected cost of building a stadium and acquiring a team is $2.5 billion.
In November, the group announced they signed an agreement in principle with the Port of Portland to develop the 45-acre Terminal 2 property for a "state-of-the art ballpark."
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said he wants the unstable stadium situations in Oakland and Tampa Bay to resolve before relocating a team or exploring expansion. In 2017, Manfred said Portland was on a short list for MLB expansion. Last year, it was reported that Portland was MLB's top option for an expansion franchise.
PDP spokesman John McIsaac in November said the group is targeting 2022 for first pitch.