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Portland MLB expansion group unveils waterfront stadium plan

Major League Baseball expansion may be on hold for now but a group in Portland continues to push ahead with its plans to build a stadium.

An agreement in principle to develop a 45-acre waterfront site was announced this week between the Port of Portland and the Portland Diamond Project.

Artist renderings for the ballpark – which would be between 32,000 and 34,000 – feature a retractable roof, gondola suite, and centrefield and home-plate plazas, among other amenities.

“We believe this has the potential to be a transformative landmark project for this city,” said Craig Cheek, head of Portland Diamond Project. “Building an iconic, state-of-the-art ballpark along the Willamette River will catalyze economic development and capture great views of both the urban scale of the city and regional character of the Pacific Northwest.”

“Baseball has a rich tradition in Portland. A ballpark along the northwest bank of the Willamette River would have a positive impact on our economy while shaping the next great Portland neighbourhood,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “I look forward to working with Portland Diamond Project and the Port of Portland in moving this initiative forward.”

The expansion of MLB remains on hold until existing franchises in Oakland and Tampa Bay can secure new stadiums. Both teams are on their way to doing so, with the Oakland A’s having just announced a proposed plan this week.