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Survey: City hits home run

Metro Opt In finds more support for baseball in Hillsboro


by: COURTESY OF HOFFMAN CONSTRUCTION CO./SRG - COURTESY OF HOFFMAN CONSTRUCTION CO./SRG A rendering shows the new baseball stadium that will be constructed in Hillsboro as the home for a single-A team. The project breaks ground Sept. 21.For much of the year, Hillsboro and Milwaukie seemed to be competing to see which city could land a minor league baseball team.

Hillsboro scored first by striking a deal for the Yakima Bears in late June. Milwaukie did not give up until late August.

But a regional survey taken before Milwaukie threw in the towel suggests Hillsboro was the best choice all along. It found far more support for minor league baseball in Hillsboro among Washington County residents.

According to the survey, 54 percent of Washington County respondents supported minor league baseball in Hillsboro. In contrast, only 38 percent of Clackamas County residents supported minor league baseball in Milwaukie.

The findings could be key to the single-A team’s success at its new home. Groundbreaking on a 4,300-seat stadium is set for 11 a.m. Sept. 21. The stadium is budgeted at up to $15.2 million and will be built in the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex, 4450 N.W. 229th Ave.

The team will play a 38 home game season Its new name will be announced at the ceremony, which will include team owners, city officials and other baseball supporters.

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce’s Business Forum luncheon will feature a talk by K.L. Wombacher, new general manager of the Hillsboro baseball team.

Wombacher and Chamber President Deanna Palm will discuss the future of baseball in the city.

The luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St. Cost is $20 for chamber members and $25 for nonmembers.

The survey was done for Metro, the regional government. Partners included the owner of the Hillsboro Tribune. It was one of a series of online Opt In surveys to help Metro gauge public feelings on regional issues.

Although not a scientific survey, it still drew responses from 3,385 members of the Opt In panel, which numbers more than 17,000 residents of Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

Written responses from Washington County were also more positive than those from Clackamas County.

“As a Hillsboro resident, I plan on supporting our minor league team,” wrote a man in Hillsboro resident who described himself as “more of a Republican.”

“Hillsboro has a timeless appeal — just check out its Main Street — and a minor-league baseball team fits in with that,” wrote a woman in Beaverton who described herself as “more of a Democrat.”

In contrast, a woman in Damascus who described herself as “more of a Democrat” wrote that she preferred the location to be, “as far away from me as possible.”

About 25 percent of Multnomah Country residents chose either Hillsboro or Milwaukie — more than the 21 percent that picked a yet-to-be determined area in Portland.

The Hillsboro Tribune is encouraging readers to join the Opt In panel and participate in upcoming surveys. Information will not be sold or shared.

An upcoming survey will focus on a possible bond measure to fund maintenance and improvement of natural areas owned by Metro and other governments in the region. To learn more, visit Metro’s website at optinpanel.org.



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