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Providence Park is Profitable for Portland

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MLS has made the stadium have a positive impact on city finances.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Willamette Week published a great article last night on the financial impact that MLS has had for Providence Park:

While previous renovations in 2001 for minor league baseball and soccer teams had left the city with a sizable chunk of debt, the arrival of Merritt Paulson and MLS has been able to turn that around:

When Timbers owner Merritt Paulson came to City Hall in 2010 seeking $12 million in public money as part of a $31 million renovation of the aging ballpark, some observers wondered if taxpayers were about to get fooled again.

The city gets base rent of about $1 million, plus 7 percent of ticket sales with a minimum guarantee and an extra bonus if sales exceed that minimum threshold. Figures released by the city in response to a public records request by WW show Paulson has not only made the required payments, but has exceeded his minimum every year.

The WW has a great chart showing a steady growth in revenues and their sources broken down by year that you should check out here.

In an age where there is no shortage of articles or research on how public financing for stadiums has gone awry for taxpayers and fans, this is great news to show how sustainable, mutually beneficial growth can be achieved in MLS. Hopefully, Providence Park success can be used as a model that other municipalities can copy. It also bodes well for any planned expansion.