The City Council’s Expensive New Toys

Portland’s Rose Quarter is like that small-scale battery-operated car your parents gave you for your fifth birthday. It provided amusement, provoked envy and secured your happiness for a full two weeks; but now it sits abandoned in your family’s basement.

If Portland were a single-family home, then Pioneer Square would be its living room, Tom McCall Waterfront Park its front lawn, and the Rose Quarter its unsightly basement.

Despite bright promises, economic revitalization around the Rose Garden Arena has failed to take place. Empty restaurant tables, vacant hotel rooms, and unused conference centers make the Rose Quarter unattractive.

What does the Portland City Council propose to do? Drop the old toy for a new one: a baseball stadium. And with a new task force considering plans to tear down the Memorial Coliseum, they may get what they want.

Instead of making long-term investments into public safety or education, the Council prefers to fritter away taxpayer money on wasteful projects. Leisure activities are, no doubt, important; but can we justify cutting police patrols to build another stadium? The Rose Quarter can be put to good use; but if Portland wants another fleeting distraction, the heap in the basement is only getting bigger.


Stephan Burklin is a research associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 6 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Maximillion

    We don’t even get good use out of the stadium we have now. What are these complete fools thinking?

    • Anonymous

      What makes you think they are even thinking?

  • Send the nightmarish establishment packing

    Pro choice liberals are strangely silent about casino gambling that could fund Portland’s expensive toy paradigm. Why is that?
    There was a time when the Grand Ronde Tribe’s MLB stadium proposal was a fair and cost effective ways and means to go, but no-o-o-o… the SPEND and (then) TAX fools prefer to grind Stump Town down further with LOO-natic TRAM scams, doobious SOCCER to me stadium dis arrangements and other costly civic phallusies.“` Then there’s the street squatters and panhandlers making downtown look like INDIGNITY VILLAGE! Butt, of curse, all the raised fees further curb any desire to go downtown and feel moshed by the inantity. D’oh!

  • Rupert in Springfield

    I think I’ve got it.

    Look, these guys love things like stadiums and choo choos because they are big, they have substance and are really cool to put your name on, look over neat architectural models etc. They also give fun naming rights, the Robert Byrd Expressway, the Rosa Parks tram etc.

    Ok, well, its hard to compete with the bigness and coolness of neato model, big cranes with I Beams, and calling up the tram factory and saying “send me over a hundred of dem cars, yeah, custom paint too”.

    What we could do is start officially naming things we don’t normally name so at least the vanity quotient is filled.

    How about the Ted Kulongosky Enterprise Zone?

    The Insert Wacko Liberal Name Here Business Growth Tax Cut?

    Might be worth a try.

    Absent that perhaps the citizens could simply invest in large hamster wheels for these fools to run on. They really spend most of their time generating waste with very occasional productive cuddling interspersed between. Anything to keep them busy so they don’t chew through the money.

    • Sybella

      And look at how much GREEN ENERGY they could produce.

  • Jerry

    Gambling run by the state is a great thing. Finally, a tax on the stupid.

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