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Yakima Bears Agree To Hillsboro's Pitch To Move Team

OPB | June 19, 2012 8:15 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:01 a.m. | Portland, OR

Contributed By:

Lucila Cejas Epple

Hillsboro’s rounding third base in its quest for a professional baseball team. The Yakima Bears franchise — a minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks — has agreed to the city’s terms.

Hillsboro plans to spend up to $15 million on a 4500-seat stadium.

Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey says a one-dollar surcharge on tickets and parking revenue will help pay that off.

Willey says the stadium will generate revenue when the team isn’t playing – especially in the spring.

“We’d love to invite the state baseball championships to be there. We’d also love to envision maybe a three-game series with Oregon-Oregon State baseball, all of that which occurs typically sometime in May and early June.”

Mayor Willey says the deal has a “very, very small possibility” of falling through at this point. If it does, the terms allow the city to recover $150,000 from the Yakima Bears.

The next step is approval of a conditional lease — expected to happen at a Hillsboro City Council meeting, June 26.

Hillsboro officials say they first started looking to acquire a team two years ago, when changes to a Portland ballpark forced out the minor-league Beavers. That team wound up relocating to southern California.

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