The Portland Diamond Project, a group that formed in 2017 to try to bring a Major League Baseball venue and team to Portland, won't be buying a piece of Portland Public Schools (PPS) property.
There’s still a plan in the works to bring a baseball stadium and team to Portland—as unlikely as that might seem—but it won’t be at the Robert W. Blanchard Education Service Center site, the group announced this morning. The Project previously had submitted an offer to buy the site, located just blocks away from the Moda Center, for $80 million. PPS currently uses it as a district headquarters.
“Although we were initially drawn to this property for its close-in location, access to transportation and its potential to be transformative to the east bank of the Willamette, it became apparent to us that the Albina Vision Trust’s board of directors has a long-range plan for the building and the immediate area that will serve the overall community in a very meaningful way,” Project CEO and former Nike executive Craig Cheek said in a morning press release.
The Albina Vision Trust is a group of investors, architects and artists who plan to revitalize the Albina neighborhood, a historically African American neighborhood that overlaps with the Rose Quarter.
“We believe the PPS site was not the right place for a baseball stadium given the opportunities it offers to help create a new and diverse neighborhood,” Albina Vision Trust board member Gregg Kantor said in the press release. “So we are pleased with their decision and believe it is the right one for our community.”
The Portland Diamond Project, which includes Seattle Seahawks player Russell Wilson and his wife, R&B singer Ciara, as investors, plans to announce new prospective ballpark locations in a few weeks. In addition to the PPS site, the group has also considered property in the South Waterfront, an industrial site in Slabtown, and a Port of Portland Property located along the Willamette.