PGE Park gets renovation deal

After several months of deliberations, PGE Park is set for a $31 million makeover.

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The Portland City Council voted 4-1 to approve a preliminary upgrade plan for PGE Park – worth $31 million – for the Portland Timbers’ MLS debut in 2011.

Gone from the deal are some of the most controversial elements of the baseball package, including the use of any urban renewal dollars and the transfer of the state income tax receipts from player salaries. But added are continuing provisions for the city to subsidize worker wages at PGE Park, which brought the most contentious debate among the council members.

And given its desire to avoid spending from the general fund, the city is still relying on a financing scheme that depends on high-interest borrowing and prepaid rent at PGE Park. The city will repay those loans primarily with income related to stadiums in the Rose Quarter, especially existing ticket taxes at Portland Trail Blazers games.

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