Baseball project announces 'charter' investors
The group working to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland released a list of its charter investors Wednesday evening.
The Portland Diamond Project said that, to date, the group comprises 12 families funding the project.
"These individuals' early involvement and belief in PDP stem from personal passion for both the game of baseball and their community," PDP founder and CEO Craig Cheek said. "Very early on, they recognized the unique opportunity we have to leave a legacy for the City of Portland that extends far beyond the foul lines."
The organization has acquired the rights to redevelop the underused Terminal 2 from the Port of Portland in Northwest Portland for a stadium. The cost is estimated at $1 billion. Although the 2003 Oregon Legislature approved taxing team salaries to support $150 million in bonds for the stadium, some legislators want to repeal that.
The roster of PDP's charter investors includes:
• Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
• Recording artist and entrepreneur Ciara
• Former MLB player Darwin Barney, father David P. Barney and brother David M. Barney
• Retired business owner and philanthropist Samantha Richardson
• Former CEO of Platt Electric Harvey Platt and wife Sandy
• Opus Agency co-founder and restauranteur Grant Hammersley
• Portland Gear founder and CEO Marcus Harvey
• Kamp Grizzly founder Dan Portrait and wife Sheena
• Avamere Group founder and CEO Rick Dillon
• DWFritz Automation CEO Mike Fritz
• Nike Inc. Vice President of Global Footwear Product Creation Mark Allen and wife Peg
• Jevo founder and entrepreneur Tyler Williams
• Real estate broker Kelsey Williams
"As a native of the Portland area and an MLB player myself, I see PDP as a legacy project," former Toronto Blue Jay, Oregon State Beaver and two-time NCAA Division I Baseball Champion Darwin Barney said. "The opportunity to invest and be part of this history-shaping campaign was a very easy decision for me."
According to PDP, charter investors have so far supplied funding for the project's overall operations, including ballpark and development design, legal services, government relations, communications, community engagement and branding.
In addition, the first round of investment helped launch the Portland Diamond Clubhouse pop-up store, which sells PDP-branded t-shirts, caps and other merchandise. To date, PDP merchandise sales through the online store and retail location has raised more than $40,000 for Portland-based Friends of Baseball, a nonprofit organization that helps underserved youth in Oregon and SW Washington, with a mission to enhance children's lives through baseball's power to teach.
"I have a strong, very personal love for baseball, and was a die-hard Cubs fan when I lived in Chicago for many years," Lake Oswego-based local, national and international philanthropist Samantha Richardson said. "When I heard about the opportunity to invest in the effort to bring an MLB team to Portland, I didn't hesitate."
Although some of PDP's charter investors will likely continue to contribute financially to the initiative as it progresses, additional investors will be joining the effort and providing the funds that will go toward building the ballpark and acquiring an MLB team for Portland.
You can read a previous Portland Tribune story on the issue at pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/416903-319064-burdick-funding-stadium-with-baseball-salaries-a-mistake.
For more information visit portlanddiamondproject.com.