“Do we want another Bridgeport Village or baseball? .” – Jennifer Flinn, Ardenwald resident.
The thought is to integrate the stadium – and not make it a dead zone. “I actually used to live in Ardenwald from 72-75, but I never noticed that brick building that has magnificent trees around it – makes it so you can’t even see the building. How can a stadium incorporate and celebrate that building and bring more prominence to it?” Bob Collier, independent consultant, said. The thought is to weave the ballpark around it. If a baseball stadium did happen, it’s hard to quantify how these things impact the area businesses. “Obviously some would see an increase in revenue (such as food/bars), but most likely the remainder of retail would not see a substantial increases in sales. As evidenced by the Rose Quarter, it is hard to blend retail and the sports entertainment world. In the go-go times, a lot of cities were looking at developing mixed-use retail/office environments around sports complexes (San Diego comes to mind). The problem is that where these environments do exist, the sports draw often doesn’t translate into retailer interest on a level that creates true retailer synergy/foot traffic on “non-games days”. Stores do well when games are being played and foot traffic increases, but sales dive sharply when the stadium is not in use and folks revert back to their typical retail shopping patterns for goods and services. The real question is not about “if” the stadium will increase retail traffic, but rather: “If we can get someone from Lake Oswego to come to Milwaukie for a game, how can we bring them back for some shopping on non-game days?” In general, I would assume at least a 15-20% increase in retail rates if the stadium came through, if nothing more than because of the increased localized traffic, coupled with game day traffic. Yet, I would not expect anyone to actually pay that increase until traffic from the stadium could be quantified, nor would I start to think about Milwaukie becoming a regional retail destination because of the stadium.” Marc Strabic, HSM Pacific Real Estate. (Commercial Real Estate agent that has worked on such assignments as Cascade Station, anchored by IKEA.)
“Could Milwaukie be a destination place for Portlanders to come spend their money and then go home?” This is a question suggested by Michelle Rossolo, Community Relations Builder. “A baseball field could set the precedent.” offered Joe Loomis, city councilor. A monetary concern is that the Milwaukie business tax is weak – so even if people came to Milwaukie to spend money would it stay here? If a baseball stadium is the match that ignited the fire of business owners to come here, would we make that much money off the business tax? The current tax may need to go from a flat tax to one that is based off the gross profit from the business. Which, if the city is willing to put out the money to create something that would help drive traffic to businesses, it seems only fair that the businesses would give back via different business tax structure.
Given all of the facts it appears that what this issue will come down to is this; do the citizens of this city feel strongly enough that we need something, and is that something baseball?
-This is the largest metropolitan area without a baseball stadium.
-Minor League baseball attracts upwards of 40 million fans a year; The average seating capacity of a minor league stadium is roughly 5,500, and there are only 176 teams
-Going to a major league baseball game can cost a family of four over a hundred dollars. That isn’t an issue when it comes to the minors, and even more so when it’s a shortened season single A baseball team.
-The studies that Vacouver, Washington have done estimate that over the next twenty years, minor league baseball would generate $207 million for their city.
-They also believe that building a new stadium would generate $35 million for the area, and that the team alone will bring in $34 million a year.