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Boy, that last post set struck a nerve, didn’t it?

First off, I applaud and respect Portland/Oregon soccer fans for their dedication and zeal in attempting to bring MLS to PDX. But I can’t agree with their means to an end.

Yes, public school funding comes from Salem. However, the city of Portland neither has endless coffers nor endless credit. If Portland issues the $80-million-something in bonds (assuming that’s all it takes to get these stadia built), that’s $80-million-something in bonds that aren’t issued for anything else.

Stadium funds are stadium funds, and yes, by law, can only be spent on such things. But given that the public at large understands these are times when we’re learning to do without “such things,” why should Merritt Paulson be granted an exception? I mean, if Gov. Ted feels Oregon schools need to do without the rainy day fund, why is anyone clamoring en masse for Major League Soccer?

And if Paulson is willing to go so far as back the bonds with his own fortunes, it suggests that he’s certainly capable of paying for the new parks himself. So let Paulson do just that. He wants to re-renovate PGE Park? Go for it. He wants to move the Beavers elsewhere? Sure. Do it, but just not on the public dime.

MLS appeals to a very specific demographic. And while I clearly love baseball, not every taxpayer in Portland needs to subsidize my fandom. And not every taxpayer needs to subsidize a wealthy franchise owner who can easily afford to make the changes he wants to make.


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