POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Amanda Fritz What Happened?
Comments on Proposed Stadium in Lents Park



Dear Colleagues,


In the course of The Great Baseball Debate, I am happy to see attention focused on the Lents neighborhood, and discussion of appropriate uses of urban renewal money for creating jobs, housing, and revitalization. I am glad proponents and opponents of the proposed baseball stadium are considering the relative value of public and private uses of parks, preservation of trees, and neighborhood livability.


The Beavers' stadium would be a nice amenity for Lents, where many love baseball, from Little League to Major League. However, the proposal for the stadium in Lents Park falls short of the MLS Task Force's recommendations.


Open space and parkland will be lost


Adding a ball field at Lents Elementary does not add any park land. Upgrading the soccer fields at Lents Park and/or Marshall High School, while worthy goals, doesn't achieve that standard, either. New parkland in Lents, a parks deficient area*, must be identified, purchased and upgraded as part of the cost of building a stadium. Even then, the loss of 30 - 170 mature trees is a heavy price to pay within a Portland City Park.


Other economic development improvements will be delayed or eliminated


While $42.3 million is the stadium cost charged to the Lents URA, the true cost, including costs of issuance and establishment of a reserve fund required by bond covenants, is $46.9 million. In addition, we will pay an estimated $37 million interest on the $47 million borrowed, resulting in a total cost of nearly $85 million for the baseball stadium alone. Using millions of dollars in Tax Increment Financing funds for a AAA baseball stadium will cause serious impacts to other project needs in the Lents Urban Renewal Area. Some will be delayed, others will never be funded. There will be immediate and on-going impacts on homebuyer assistance programs and business redevelopment grants. Development of the Freeway Lands property is perhaps the greatest opportunity for job growth in the Lents area; building a baseball stadium will delay development of this 100 acre site until 2017. Lents cannot wait that long for year-round, family wage jobs.


The General Fund will be exposed to risk


Providing a $15 million loan to the Lents URA is the same as using General Fund resources to fund the stadium. This is a fundamental violation of the promise at the beginning of this process, that there would be no impact to the General Fund. Lending the district an additional $15 million will require a waiver of current City financial policies and will result in repayment five years or longer in the future. The $15 million would be backed by a pledge of General Fund revenues, and the General Fund would be at risk if tax increment revenues failed to be realized. With the publicly-owned stadium providing no tax increment itself, this is a significant concern.


The proposal has other concerns for Lents neighbors. Walker Stadium is a great community asset, available to the public every day during the summer. The new stadium will host Beavers games on 72 of the 150 days from early April through early September. Current users of Walker Stadium will find availability greatly diminished, with likely fee increases.


Parking at Lents Park is a significant problem, even now. Adding a 6500-9000 seat stadium would bring thousands of additional cars into the neighborhood for games or concerts. Marshall High School and Eastport Plaza will likely be considered too distant from the stadium, and they do not provide public parking. Is Lents ready for metered parking, like the area around PGE Park?


Aside from all this, one fundamental issue has not been addressed. The owner of the sports teams has selected a building contractor with no input from the City of Portland. Those arrangements have not been made public. Alternative designs or bidders have not been considered. What are the taxpayers getting for $83 million? Why not put the projects out to bid, so other contractors might offer a lower price for building and remodeling? Currently, our money would go to a sole source contract to Mr. Paulson's hand-selected construction company, with no City-imposed limit on overhead or profit margin. While the company would pick up any cost overruns, the price tag may be already considerably higher than required to build a nice stadium. Constituents have sent me information indicating other stadium projects have been done for $15 million. How fancy is the proposed stadium, and is it what we need? Competitive bidding for the construction contracts would provide the option for savings.


I oppose any proposal that uses Portland taxpayers' money, including urban renewal funds, to build sports facilities. If the PGE renovations for soccer and construction of a modest stadium for baseball cannot be accomplished using spectator and visitor taxes, the private interests desiring professional sports teams in Portland should pay the balance.


Economic development and prosperity for current businesses and resident in Lents is poised to take off, when the Green Line light rail opens this fall. I urge the Council to stay the course on pursuing and funding priorities already chosen with Lents URA money. The shiny new baseball stadium may seem enticing, especially in a neighborhood that has lacked due attention in the past. I believe the money generated in Lents should provide family-wage jobs and home ownership assistance for the people of Lents, rather than a venue for occasional entertainment visited by residents of the rest of the region. I look forward to reading the advice of the Lents URAC in that regard, and I will continue to consider all information made available to me as this process moves forward.

Amanda Fritz
Commissioner, City of Portland


*  Note: As I was kindly informed later, Lents is not parks-deficient.  East Portland as a whole is Parks deficient, but Lents is not.

Table of Contents
Residential Infill Project comments
Better Housing by Design speech
Draft Tree Code Resolution December 2019
Portland Water Bureau Annual Report on Filtration Plant Planning, June 2019
Proposed Charter Change Ballot Captions and Summaries
Proposed Charter Amendments
2019-20 Budget Speech
Speech on Withdrawing from JTTF, 2/13/19
Dr. Markisha Smith joins the Office of Equity and Human Rights
Revised Proposed Legislative Agenda 2019
Local and Federal Investments on Homelessness
Community Input on 2019 Legislative Priorities
Speech on Protest Safety Ordinance
Open and Accountable Elections ordinance 2016
Open & Accountable Elections Director Selected
Message to City Employees on All-user restrooms
Fiscal Report for my office, 2009 - 20016
My speech at Open and Accountable Elections public hearing, September 2016
San Francisco Resolution regarding policies of President-elect Trump
Report on Demolition Regulations Implementation, 2016
2012 Resolution and 2016 MOU on Tribal Consultation
Open and Accountable Elections proposed code
Chief Marshman Statement 10/12/16
Comments on Police union contract vote
Updated information on Proposed Police Contract
Frequently Asked Questions on Proposed Portland Police Association contract
Community Conversation on SE 3rd & Harrison Site: Discussion Highlights
Community Conversation on SE 3rd & Harrison Site: Discussion Highlights
A Home For Everyone Summary
My speech on Transportation Network Companies/taxis
Paid Parental Leave FAQ
Paid Parental Leave Ordinance
Decision-making on Duniway Park donation
Closed Captioning Press Release
Closed Captioning Ordiance
Especially Large Tree Development Proposal
How to Make a Difference at a Planning Commission or City Council Hearing
Noise Task Force Application
Substitute Ordinance Pile Driving
Portland's Protected Sick Time Code
Speech on JTTF Memorandum Of Understanding
ACLU letter on JTTF 2-25-15
Comments on SDC Waivers for Middle-Income Housing in Old Town Chinatown
One Key Question Press Release
One Key Question Resolution
Vending Carts Regulations brochure (pdf)
2013 Span of Control Report (pdf)
Captioned video of Council hearing on Blood Donations and HIV precautions, September 2013
DHM Oregon Opinion Poll 2013
Department of Justice Settlement Agreement
Resolution on Zoning Confirmation Letter, Oct 2, 2013
Right to Dream Too Zoning Confirmation Letter, for Oct 2 hearing
Street Musicians Agreement FAQs
Street Musicians Agreement (pdf)
Occupancy/rental taxes on hotels, rental vehicles, etc.
Adopted Protected Sick Time Ordinance 3/13/13
Adopted Protected Sick Leave Code
Metro Fact Sheet on the proposed Oregon Convention Center Hotel
Statement on proposed Public Utility District, 7/18/13 (pdf)
Comments on Parks and Development Services, one month into my assignment
Corrected Comments at the vote on the 2013 - 14 Budget
Comments at the vote on the 2013 - 14 Budget
Ordinance creating the Office of Equity and Human Rights, 09/21/10
Job Posting 3/15/13, Administrative Assistant/Constituent Services Specialist
Adopted Protected Sick Leave Code 3/13/13
Helen Moss OpEd in the Oregonian on why Sick Leave is needed now
Task Force Issues Summary
Protected Sick Time Code proposal 2-28-13 (clean version)
Protected Sick Time proposal 2-28-13 showing changes since 1-18-13
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 3 Notes
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 2 Notes
Agenda, Earned Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 2
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 1 Notes
Earned Sick Leave Task Force members
Memo to Venture Portland members on Earned Sick Leave (pdf)
PSU Economists' Analysis of Earned Sick Leave costs and benefits (pdf)
Proposed Sick Leave Code
Proposed Sick Leave Ordinance
NW Parking: Phased Implementation (Exhibit C)
NW Parking: Amended TMA Structure (Exhibit B)
NW Parking: Additional Amendments to Map Boundary
NW Parking: Amended Resolution
Adopted Principles for Budget Advisory Committees
Public Involvement Advisory Council
City Budget Office proposed Code changes
City Budget Office proposed Ordinance
3-1-1 Resolution passed 10/10/12
Link to article commenting on Harvard fluoride study
Substitute Resolution on Coal Trains, 9/19/12
Statement of Intent for improvements in Portland Police Bureau policies and practices, and the City's care for people experiencing mental illnesses, 9/13/12 (pdf)
US Department of Justice Findings in Investigation of Portland Police Bureau, 9/13/12 (pdf)
Comments at the Fluoridation vote, 9/12/12
Open Reservoir Work Session Follow-Up Storage Volumes
Open Reservoir Work Session Follow-Up 08-27-12
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Library District Budget Impacts
Office of Equity and Human Rights Powerpoint Presentation
Office of Equity and Human Rights One Year Work Plan
Letter to the OLCC from Nine Portland-Area State Legislators
2012 Spirit of Portland Awards Nomination Form
Ordinance Related to Licensing Exterior Areas
OLCC Exterior Areas Petition Document
West Portland Crossroads Report by Patty Lee
Council presentation on Portland Harbor from March 28, 2012
Final State Legislature Summary, 3/7/12
Sidewalks Data
PBA Letter on Downtown Marketing Initiative funding, 2/12
State Legislative Update 2/17/12
Team statistics for the 2009 calendar year
State Legislative Update
Final Resolution on Corporate Personhood
Speech from Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen
Cox v. New Hampshire 1941 U.S. Supreme Court decision
Letter from CFO Rich Goward Regarding City Investment of Funds
Office of Equity and Human Rights Seeks Director
Report from the 1st International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities, Dublin, Ireland September 28-30, 2011
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Office of Equity and Human Rights
Response to NECN regarding Last Thursday, 7/28/11
Safer PDX Report Powerpoint
Mid-project Presentation to Council, Safer PDX
Proposed Office of Equity Work Plan, 8/17 Public Review Draft
Proposed draft Equity Office creation ordinance, 8/17 public review draft
Garbage Rates and Options, October 2011
East Portland Expo Program 2011 (pdf)
State Legislative Update 6/30/11
Technology Oversight Committee Application information (pdf)
State Legislative Update 6/24/11
State Legislative Update 6/19/11
State Legislative Update 6/10/11
State Legislative Update 5/28/11
Reports on Equity/Disparities
State Legislative Update 4/29/11
BOEC (9-1-1 Center) 2011-12 Budget Advisory Committee presentation
Equity Office Concept - DRAFT 3/22/11
Equity Office Concept - DRAFT 3/22/11
3/3/11 Update on siting of Wireless Antennas in neighborhoods
Video of Portland Broadband Strategic Plan kickoff session
Biographies of 2011 Charter Commission members
Mayor Adams's response on Human Trafficking statistics and the real problem we face
2011 Charter Commission process Q & A
Appointees to the 2011 City Charter Commission
2011 Charter Commission Appointment Resolution
Sidewalk Management Citations Data, June - August 2010
Resolution on Broadband Strategic Plan, 9/22/10
Summary of Proposed Portland Alcohol Impact Area
OLCC information on Alcohol Impact Areas
National Women's Health Week Project Report
Sidewalk Management Plan updates
Planning for SW Parks
Comments on West Hayden Island Resolution 7/29/10
Amanda's Amendments on West Hayden Island Resolution 7/29/10
Public Safety bond referral
Process for review of Cellular facilities in neighborhoods
Schools/Parks Amendments 4/28/10
Memo to Council on Schools/Parks Code project
City report on 2010 Oregon Legislative session
Central City Concern - spending taxpayers' money wisely
Report on Central City Concern's program effectiveness
Tree removal and construction on I-5 in SW
2010 Regional Graffiti All-Stars
Tibet Proclamation
Neighborhoods in the News, Summer/Fall 2009
Dirty Duck Demolition Permit remarks
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Visit with Gateway Area Business Association
Comments on Bull Run water treatment options, 7/27/09
Community Discussion on Sharing Public Spaces, 7/21/09
Community Discussion on Sharing Public Spaces, 7/18/09
Comments on Proposed Stadium in Lents Park
Statement of Concerns on Major League Soccer
Hayden Island Plan
My first 100 days
Report on the Office of Healthy Working Rivers
City Auditor Report on the City Government's Financial Condition
Office of Healthy Working Rivers organizational meetings
The Great Soccer Debate
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Progress on defeating Graffiti
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