Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Save Portland's Memorial Coliseum, but for what?

Oregonian Reporter Helen Jung asks this same question in the Sunday edition of the Oregonian. The story does not really break any new ground, but does touch on the main issues like the improvements needed to the arena and the fact that as it currently stands, the Memorial Coliseum barely breaks even. One important point from the article is the question of whether the Trail Blazer organization is deliberately letting the Coliseum become obsolete so that it can get the lion's share of the available bookings. From the article here is a line or two that touches on this matter:

"The city, with such limited income from the coliseum, won't invest much in capital improvements, Macht said, making the coliseum even less desirable and helping Portland Arena "kill off" the competition.

Isaac denied the claims, saying they have aggressively tried to fill the coliseum and aren't diverting events to the Rose Garden. The issue is that concert promoters and event organizers often just prefer the newer Rose Garden, with its amenities including a large video board, LED signs and renovated luxury suites".

J. Issac is of course a Senior V.P. with the Portland Trailblazers. While I am under no illusion that the Memorial Coliseum is as attractive to promoters than a modern arena such as the Rose Garden, the fact is the building does quite well considering the lack of attention it has received. Another thing that really upsets me is how it seems that the Memorial Coliseum is seemingly the only project, investment, or structure in the city of Portland that is ever questioned for profitability and/or profit potential? I never hear about any other goofy project that the city embarks on scrutinized so much.


  1. Hi, Luke. I just found your blog by talking to Gil Frey, who said he's spoken to you in the past.

    Gil is trying to put together some military presence for the hearing at 3:30pm on Thursday of this week (regarding PGE Park financing). He'd love you to give him a call, 503.659.8680.



  2. Okay, I don't know where to post my suggestion, so I'm posting it here! I spent my youth coming to the Colliseum, to car shows (where I saw the Supremes, live...as well as Glen Campbell) and it's where I saw The Beatles...I'm a bit fond of the building, to say the least. So...how about a world class Botanical Garden like those in other cities (Balboa Park in San Diego comes to mind)...it's the ROSE Garden...there are windows galore...it could take up a large part of the building with space for other features as well, like a cafe, that rock climbing area, but it would be totally Portland...I just read that the Berry Botanic Garden in Dunthorpe is closing...there are the seeds!!! And...if you read this and no a more likely place for it's reception and possible consideration, please forward. Thank you. Susan Reese, West Linn.

  3. I mean, KNOW a more likely place for its reception...and I'm an English teacher! But I'm excited.