Portland Timbers: New stadium deal agreed

The Portland Timbers have moved a step closer to having their own stadium after owner Merritt Paulson agreed a deal with the city's mayor and commissioner.

The Portland Timbers have moved a step closer to having their own stadium after owner Merritt Paulson agreed a deal with the city's mayor and commissioner.

While the agreement reached by Paulson, mayor Sam Adams and commissioner Randy Leonard needs ratification by the Portland City Council on July 23, it is almost certain to be approved. It will see a US$31 million overhaul of PGE Park before the Timbers' entry to Major League Soccer. The team's tenancy will last an initial 25 years.

The agreement will see the city contribute US$11.9 million. Paulson will contribute US$8 million, as well as paying US$11.1 million in advance rent. The deal is separate from any arrangement for a new home for the Portland Beavers, the city's minor league baseball franchise also owned by Paulson, who currently share PGE Park. MLS rules demand soccer-specific stadiums for its franchises.