Could the dream of having three Pacific Northwest MLS teams be in danger of not happening? According to this Bloomberg story on the Portland MLS expansion bid, the stadium projects necessary for Portland's bid to work are in jeopardy unless a $15 million spending gap is addressed.
Yes, you may recall that the vote taken a month ago by the city council, which helped clear the way for Portland's MLS expansion, included an amendment that left a potential $15 million void in the funding for the two stadium projects associated with the Portland MLS bid. Back then it was unclear what that funding gap would do to the project, but now with Portland expansion head Merritt Paulson insisting that his group cannot pick up that $15 million difference, that funding gap could create serious problems.
So what does this all mean? It sure looks like some political posturing between two sides who want the other to pick up the remaining $15 million tab. Paulson wants the city to create an Urban Enterprise Zone that could help generate the tax revenue to cover the shortfall while the city would surely prefer that Paulson pick up the tab.
Will this prevent Portland from arriving in MLS in two years? I wouldn't bet on it but I would bet on that threat being made in the coming weeks and months.
What do you think of this story? Worried the Portland bid will fall through? Confident the Timbers will join MLS in 2011? Are you a Seattle Sounders fan conflicted about rooting for Portland's MLS bid to succeed?
Share your thoughts below.