Hillsboro Hops ballpark funding plan deadline


Hillsboro Hops financing deadline pushed back Image: Hillsboro Hops, SRG, Populous, & Mortenson

The deadline for financing a new ballpark for the Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team Hillsboro Hops (US) has been extended by the Major League Baseball (MLB), as the High-A Northwest League team has been given until March 15th, 2024 to finalize a funding plan.

‘Ballpark Digest’ stated that when faced with meeting MiLB’s new facility specs, the Hops owners decided that building a new ballpark would be at least 15 percent more cost-effective than renovating the existing home – the Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro, Oregon (US). Needed to bring Ron Tonkin Field up to the new MiLB facilities specs: A women’s locker room, visiting clubhouse, weight room, and other requirements.

St. Petersburg (US)-based Minor League Baseball (MiLB) is a professional baseball below Major League Baseball (MLB), including teams affiliated with the MLB clubs and independent baseball leagues consisting of unaffiliated teams.

New York (US)-based Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization. One of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, the MLB comprises 30 teams, divided equally between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), with 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada.

The Hillsboro Hops are a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team in the Northwest United States, located in Hillsboro, Oregon, a City in the Portland metropolitan area. The Hops are members of the Northwest League as an affiliate of the MLB team Arizona Diamondbacks. They play their home games at the Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro, Oregon, which opened in 2013.

The 4,500-capacity Ron Tonkin Field, originally the Hillsboro Ballpark, is a baseball park in the Northwest United States, located in Hillsboro, Oregon, a suburb West of Portland. It serves as the home ballpark of the Hillsboro Hops.

‘Ballpark Digest’ further stated that the new Hillsboro Hops ballpark will be located on the Northwest side of the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex in Hillsboro. The ballpark will be designed as a year-round outdoor entertainment venue potentially hosting up to 300 events per year, including Hops home baseball games, concerts, festivals, community events, and amateur baseball games. The new ballpark will be designed to accommodate 6,000 people for baseball and up to 7,000 for concerts and other events.

The Hops have secured a significant portion of the total $120 million needed for the new ballpark, including $82 million – 68 percent of the total project cost – in private funds. A key part of the remaining budget needs is a potential $15 million commitment from the Oregon Legislature, expected to be considered during the State’s February 2024 legislative session, scheduled to conclude just days prior to the March 15th deadline. A $15 million investment is projected to yield a payback in five to six years within a 40-year lease period.

That potential legislative action was enough to sway the MLB, albeit with some warnings: In the extension letter, a MLB representative wrote that “if the club is unable to confirm that the ballpark project is fully funded by March 15th, 2024, the club will need to explore other possible options including potential relocation.” The letter goes on to state that “… the inability of the club to bring the stadium into compliance” will subject the Hops to “… possible termination of the club’s public documentation license (PDL) License Agreement.”

A press release sent out by K.L. Wombacher, Hillsboro Hops President and General Manager, read, “We’re grateful to Major League Baseball (MLB) for granting us more time to secure these essential remaining funds. The Hops are integral to Hillsboro, bringing people together in celebration of so much more than baseball. With Oregon’s help, we can preserve the Hops’ future in Hillsboro and ensure many more lifelong memories are made at the ballpark for decades to come.”

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