The future of baseball in Portland looks lush.
Today, the Portland Diamond Project announced an "agreement in principle" with the Port of Portland for the purchase of a little-used dock space.
Though the details of the agreement are still shrouded in mystery, the Diamond Project also released a series of renderings for a massive baseball stadium near the Willamette River.
The plan includes a retractable dome roof, a stage, a river boardwalk and, perhaps most notably, an aerial tram.
It's grandiose and would be unlike anything that currently exists in Portland.
And, as a non-sports fan, I have some questions.
1. Why is it so big? Is this an adult theme park? Baseballandia?
Sure, my sports knowledge is limited to a few Blazers games, and my fascination lies mostly in watching hoards of competitive beer guzzlers yell things like "Defense," "Let's go Blazers," and my favorite, while the opposing team is shooting, "Oooooooooooohhhhh."
I've also never, in all my life, watched a baseball game. But this just seems like a lot.
When asked if Portlanders are enthusiastic enough to fill a stadium this large, John McIsaac, a Portland Diamond Project spokesperson says: "Absolutely. This is a sports town. The Blazers, Timbers and Thorns sell out regularly."
2. Is baseball that high a priority?
Wouldn't you rather the billions of dollars it would probably cost to build this behemoth go towards things Portlanders actually care about—like a craft rehabilitation center for non-recyclable garbage or, I don't know, affordable housing?
McIsaac adds that projected costs are confidential, and that building affordable housing is still a consideration.
"It is our hope for affordable housing in this neighborhood," he says, "and I'd say we'll likely have it, but I don't know how much. It's hard to say what the master plan will be at this point."
3. What the hell is a tram doing in a baseball stadium?
The stadium's backers call it a "gondola," and say people who pay extra will be able to ride back and forth to the outfield. Is this another way of saying the people with expensive box seats can glide back-and-forth in a showy glass box to talk to their other aerial friends about aerial things?
McIssac says maybe.
"This is a stadium design concept at this point, and nothing's set in stone," he says. "I'm not sure what the tram's purpose is. Maybe to take fans from an entrance to a suite of some kind?"
4. Will people be able to watch games from the Willamette River?
If I can't afford to flaunt my wealth from a tram, will I at least be able to eat peanuts and crackerjacks and watch the 'ol ball game from an inflatable raft out back?
"That would be great," McIssac says. "We don't know for sure [if it's possible] yet."
5. Will Ciara perform at all the halftime shows?
I know baseball games don't have halftimes. But as one of Portland Diamond Project's investors, I think Ciara should have the right to change that. Or at least tweet at Ted Wheeler to hold a vote on it.