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Portland city skyline


Metropolitan Area: Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon-Washington

Metro Area Population: 2.51 million people
Metro Area Median Age: 39.1 yrs old
Metro Area Median Household Income: $83,943 (USD)
Other 'Big 5' Franchises in city: Portland Trail Blazers (NBA), Portland Timbers (MLS)
Number of Fortune 1000-equivalent businesses in city: 4
Combined annual revenue of Fortune 1000-equivalent businesses in city: $12.9bn (USD)

One of the few west coast contenders, Portland has long been considered a serious player for an MLB team. Particularly active in its pursuit during the 2000s - when it put together proposals to lure the relocating Montreal Expos and the Florida Marlins, who ended up staying put - its efforts have re-intensified as the next round of expansion has drawn closer. The Portland Diamond Project, led by former Nike executive Craig Cheek and boasting a list of investors including Broncos' Quarterback Russell Wilson, is the main organising force behind the city's push for MLB - although 'MLB to Oregon' is also active. The Diamond Project have been quiet over the past few years (their website has not been updated since 2019). But, per The Oregonian, there have been recent moves to set the wheels back in motion.[1] Most notably, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is supporting the group's ballpark proposal, lending some important political heft to the project, with Axios reporting that the city is in "active communications" with the group.[2]

By the data, Portland is a strong contender for an expansion team. It ranks in the upper third on the size and income metrics and is in a state without an existing MLB franchise. While not a hotspot of big business it does host Nike's global headquarters and Adidas's North American equivalent, which might help it it secure sponsorships and tie-ins (Cheek has called the city the "sports, athletic, and outdoor industry epicenter capital of the world".)[3] But the city's image has declined recently as it has endured one of the highest crime rates in the US - with Commissioner Rob Manfred cancelling a visit in late 2020 because of the political situation, and Nike's flagship store in the city closing due to retail theft. It is also one of the older markets by median age - that, combined with the city's declining reputation, means it might have to fight the perception that its time has passed.

Since the pandemic the Diamond Project has been flying under the radar. As expansion draws nearer and the group starts to make more noise, it will become clearer just how serious a contender they are.



TV Market Size
Metro Area Size
Median Household Income
Fortune 1000-equivalent Businesses
Median Age
Minor League Attendance


TV Market Size
Metro Area Size
Median Household Income
Fortune 1000-equivalent Businesses
Median Age


Portland stadium rendering
Portland stadium rendering
Portland stadium rendering
Portland stadium rendering

Source: Portland Diamond Project. Baseball Expansion claims no copyright or credit for these images.


[1] "Portland mayor backs pitch to turn Lloyd Center into MLB ballpark; RedTail golf course also in play", The Oregonian, Shane Dixon-Kavanaugh, 30 June 2023,
[2] "Portland's quest to nab a Major League Baseball team", Axios, Meira Gebel, 2 August 2023,
[3] "The business behind MLB expansion: Portland, Montreal and Raleigh taking different approaches to landing a team", CBS Sports, R.J Anderson, 17 July 2019,

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