From 96 ideas, the future of Memorial Coliseum is now whittled down to three concepts. Last night the Rose Quarter Stakeholder Committee voted to advance the Trail Blazers' Jumptown, Doug Obletz's Memorial Athletic and Recreation Center (MARC) and the Veteran's Memorial Arts and Athletic Center (VMAAC) onto the next round. It will be exciting to see what the groups come up with for the building, and it's interesting that the advisory committee decided to send on both Jumptown and the MARC, which is pitching itself as the opposite of the Blazers' plan. Each group will receive an as-yet-undetermined cash stipend to spend while putting together their final proposals.
Those three teams will write up full proposals for their ideas and present them to City Council in March. Two other ideas, the Vision Into Action's Community Crossroads and the Portland Action Sport's Complex, were selected as alternates.
The decision was not without controversy. Though 67 percent of the advisory committee group believed the Community Crossroads idea, which would turn Memorial Coliseum into a large public market and multicultural center, should not be recommended to Council, the project pulled in about 50 public supporters in the audience. "Portland is known as the whitest city in the nation and this is something that would help shift people's perspective of us," Lisa Reed Guarnero of the Center for Intercultural Organizing, told the committee after the vote.