Long-time sports event promoter Brian Parrott said Friday he intends to run for Portland City Council in 2012.
Parrott, instrumental in bringing three Davis Cup ties to Portland and with a hand in staging other major sporting events in Portland for three decades, wants to beef up the city's presence on the national and international sports landscape.
'Put a promoter in City Hall,' said Parrott, 63. 'It could be very good for Portland's future.'
Parrott has ideas for promotions that would benefit the city and state. Among them:
• Solar Rayce Across America. Replicate the auto race that promoted the 1905 Lewis and Clark Expo/World's Fair in Portland with a New York (Times Square) to Portland (Pioneer Square) race.
'There are 40 universities in the United States with solar vehicles,' Parrott said. 'MIT is the leader, with a car that can go up to 90 miles per hour. Oregon State has a solar vehicle, and Portland State's engineering department is excited about the idea. There are international teams that 'rayce' 2,000 miles across Australia. This would bring great national and international attention to Oregon.'
• Bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
'I was part of the 1998 Winter Olympics bid for Mount Hood,' Parrott said. 'A $25,000 engineering study confirmed that Mount Hood, and Portland, could host the Winter Games. Denver would be our only serious competition if we organize the bid well.'
• Invite the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics to move their major-league baseball franchise to Portland.
'The downtown post office is a 'Field of Dreams' location for a new stadium,' Parrott said. 'Both of these American League franchises have been unsuccessful in getting new stadiums and are low in attendance. The downtown post office site is for sale, with its 14 acres ideal for The Pearl and Chinatown development.'
• Bid for the 2024 Ryder Cup at either Pumpkin Ridge or The Reserve.
'Portland Golf Club played host to the 1947 Ryder Cup,' Parrott said. 'A Portland businessman who owned Piggly Wiggly stores paid for Europe to come to start up the Ryder Cup after World War II.'
• Construction of a floating casino in downtown Portland.
'We can negotiate a joint venture with the Native American Tribes for a historically themed and high-end tourist and convention attraction,' Parrott says. 'A floating, retro-fitted Mark Twain Riverboat Casino would reap millions of dollars annually. Park it on the waterfront within walking distance of hotels and light rail.'
'Each of these ideas is doable,' Parrott says. 'Projects like this inspire the citizens, help promote the beautiful city we have and put Portland on a national, and international, stage with TV and media coverage.
'If the citizens of Portland woud consider putting a promoter in City Hall, a champion for these and other ideas, I feel like I'm the person to do it.'