PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The focus for the Hillsboro Hops has shifted from sliding into home to finding a new one.
The new Hillsboro stadium is facing multiple construction challenges, and on Tuesday night, the city council will hear an update on the plan.
The project has moved from renovating Ron Tonkin Field to replacing it, as Major League Baseball is requiring the addition of a visiting clubhouse, women’s locker room and other facilities at a cost of $120 million — the Hops are a Single-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Currently, the team’s executives are trying to find the rest of the money to pay for the project, as the Sept. 30 deadline from MLB has passed. The organization is hoping that MLB extends the deadline, but it could be months before the team knows if they’ll have the money they need to build.
Hops President K.L. Wombacher says he expects to hear back from MLB this week if the extension is approved. He told the Portland Tribune that if they can’t find the money, it’s likely the Hops will be sold.
The city will contribute $18 million, while $82 million will come from Hops’ ownership. But the organization has been striking out on finding the rest after the state legislature didn’t allocate the $20 million the team was hoping for.
“We’ve made some progress on the project’s design,” Rahim Harij, the deputy city manager for the City of Hillsboro, said. “The city’s commitment to the project was to help create a larger entertainment destination, a place we could hold concerts and things like that.”
“Given the amount of tax revenue this new project will generate, we are hopeful that the state will see the value in investing in this public-private partnership,” Wombacher added.
Wombacher told KOIN 6 that he’s looking to Washington County’s lodging tax and hopes the state legislature can contribute some money when they go back to Salem in February.
“I’m sure they can work that out together. We’re moving forward. There’s progress on the project. I’m hoping the MLB sees that,” he said.
The replacement plan calls for the new stadium to be built where youth fields currently sit. The update to the city council includes a plan for replacements to be built.