PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Hillsboro Hops’ new entertainment venue that will be built next to the team’s current stadium will have a major economic impact on the area, according to a study conducted by ECONorthwest, a Portland-based economic consulting firm.
The economic study found that the construction of the $120 million new ballpark will result in $190 million in total economic output in Washington County. It’s expected the construction will support 982 full-time jobs with a payroll of over $82 million and $5 million in state and local taxes.
Once the facility is completed, it’s expected to have an annual economic output of over $64 million for the county, according to ECONorthwest. The venue will employ 381 full-time employees.
The Hillsboro Hops expect to break ground on the new venue later in 2023 and plan to complete it in 2025.
The new venue will not only host Hillsboro Hops baseball games, it will also welcome crowds for concerts, festivals, youth sports, regional and national tournaments and family events, the organization says.
The Hops play 132 games per year and 66 of them are home games.
Economists at ECONorthwest based the venue’s projected performance on data from the McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater in Troutdale, since it’s currently the largest outdoor music venue in Oregon.
Data from Edgefield showed that ticket sales at the venue rose 44% from 2018 to 2022. In 2022, Edgefield box office sales totaled $9.8 million.
Using the average ticket price from Edgefield and an estimate of how many people would attend 12 concerts at the new ballpark, researchers predict the new stadium could earn $4,137,455 in annual gross box office ticket sales.
The new venue will have a seating capacity of 7,500 during concerts and 5,500 during baseball games – that’s 1,000 more seats than the current venue has during games.
In a year, ECONorthwest said it expects 523,399 people would attend 214 events at the venue.
The purpose of the new stadium is to meet the new MLB standards. In a preliminary design and analysis, Hops leadership determined it would be more cost-effective to design and build a new ballpark rather than remodel the current field.
“While the economic impact numbers are staggering, especially at a time of potential recession, the primary reason we are so ambitious with this project and willing to invest over $80 million of private funds is we need venues like this in our region,” said KL Wombacher, Hillsboro Hops president and general manager. “We need venues that attract events and bring people together for shared experiences. This new venue will provide enjoyment and memories for decades to come leading to an enhanced quality of life we all desire.”
In its conclusion of the economic study, ECONorthwest said building the new ballpark allows the Hops to meet the new MLB requirements, allowing the team to remain in Hillsboro.
“MLB knows larger, newer stadiums attract more fans. Attendance grows. And by adding features that make Hillsboro’s new ballpark suitable for outdoor concerts and seasonal events, it will become a popular amenity for county residents and tourists alike,” the study stated.
In late 2020, Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks promoted the Hops to become their Single-A Advanced affiliate. This promotion ushered in updated MLB facility requirements for the Hillsboro team.