In spite of a lack of widespread support, the mayor continues to push for a major league baseball stadium in town. After a season of lackluster crowds for the city's minor league baseball team, Vera Katz had the gall to announce last week that a financing deal for a major league stadium was in the works. Seemingly unbothered by previous bad business decisions--like assigning fiscal management for PGE park to a lackluster private company, a decision that has cost the city millions--Mayor Katz continues to plunge ahead with an idea that if we build a $350 million stadium, a baseball team will simply arrive.

Katz's unwavering support for a baseball stadium goes directly against the opinions expressed by other city leaders--as well as the potential future leaders. Both mayoral candidates--Tom Potter and Jim Francesconi--have routinely stated their opposition to making the stadium a priority. Scott Farris, the mayor's spokesperson, said that Katz was unbothered that when she leaves office in a few months, she will hand this plan off to a mayor who is not interested in pursuing it.

City council candidate Nick Fish went even further, releasing a statement in his weekly newsletter. "It's outrageous!" the press release begins. Fish goes on to point out that there has been no public input about the stadium and calls the decision to draft up a financial plan "another backroom deal in the making." Fish requests that the city audit PGE's current fiscal disaster with a fine comb before rushing into another deal. Five years ago, the city backed an agreement for Portland Family Entertainment (PFE) as stewards for PGE Park. Few details are known about that agreement because it is protected by a confidentiality agreement. But what is known is that PFE screwed the pooch, balking on rent payments, among other promises.

Katz's proposed financing scheme for a new stadium promises no new general taxes. Instead, she reported last week that it will be funded by taxes on players' salaries (from a team that has not yet even agreed to move to Portland) and from taxes on businesses near the proposed stadium (although those businesses have yet to be consulted). Additional funds will be drawn from a surcharge on tickets sold and a sales tax on the concession stands. One of the primary flaws in the management for PGE Park is that PFE wildly overestimated attendance at games and pulled in far less money than anticipated.