Lynn Lashbrook, president of Sports Management Worldwide, believes the A’s could find a home in Portland when their lease at O.co Coliseum runs out after the 2015 season, the Portland Tribune reported Tuesday.
Lashbrook visited with the architects of Hillsboro Ballpark, home of the Class A Hillsboro Hops, on Monday to discuss building additional seating at the 4,500-seat stadium. They believe they can get the capacity between 15,000 to 20,000 to make a temporary home for the team. The A’s average attendance in 2013 was 22,000.
Lashbrook envisions a new 38,000-seat stadium at the site of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers used to play, as a permanent home for the franchise. Still, A’s owner Lew Wolff wants to keep the team in the Bay Area, or at least close by. Not to mention, Portland Mayor Charlie Hayes isn’t keen on making a Major League Baseball stadium a priority project in his city.
Wolff ideally would like to renew the lease at the Coliseum, but there are problems with that. The A’s would have to find a middle ground with the Oakland Raiders, who share the stadium and the lease. The Coliseum also is in terrible shape, being known for problems such as flooding with raw sewage on multiple occasions.
A few other options seem more likely than Portland at this point, and all of them keep the A’s close to the Bay Area. The ideas of Candlestick Park, San Jose, Calif., and Sacramento have been thrown around, and are all viable. Sacramento seems to be the most realistic, as it doesn’t infringe on the San Francisco Giants’ territory.
Photo via Twitter/@AlexStimson