Marketplace Scratch Pad

Paulson’s footy booty

Scott Jagow Apr 7, 2009

Speaking of Oregon and the recession, our favorite former Treasury Secretary is having trouble getting what he wants in Portland. Well, what his son wants. Henry Paulson’s son, Merritt, is trying to bring a Major League Soccer team to town, using $50 million of dad’s money.

The MLS has awarded the younger Paulson a franchise, but the plans for a stadium have hit a snag.
From Bloomberg:

The problem is that Paulson wants the city to sell $65 million of bonds to turn the downtown home of his Portland Beavers minor league baseball team into a soccer stadium that meets major league requirements, and erect a brand new park for the Beavers.

Building two new stadiums for the son of a millionaire is a tough sell in a town hit hard by a recession that deepened in part because Henry Paulson’s efforts to stave it off at the U.S. Treasury were unsuccessful.

Merritt Paulson has a $15 million hole that needs to be filled by Sept 1st, or the stadium won’t be ready for Portland’s debut MLS season in Spring, 2011. He says he can’t pledge any more family money.

Paulson, Jr. owns Portland’s minor league baseball and soccer teams, and if this doesn’t work out, Bloomberg says Merritt will just stay in the minors.

One bad sign for him — City Commissioner Amanda Fritz is a soccer fan who grew up in Leeds, England, and she says Portland has “many more challenging issues.”

But it’s football, Amanda!

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