Portland Gets Soccer Team as Use of Fitzpatrick Stadium OK’d by City Council


Gabe Hoffman-Johnson, Founder and Co-owner of Portland United, LLC at Tonight’s City Concil Meeting.

Portland finally has a professional soccer team!  And the excitement at city hall was unlike any this blogger has seen there in recent memory – as if Portland United, LLC had just won its first home game without ever taking the field at Portand’s Fitzpatrick Stadium..

After several years of negotiations with the city,, an agreement was ratified this evening between Portland United, LLC and the city for the use of Fitzpatrick Stadium as the team’s headquarters.  The City Council voted unanimously to approve the contract that was negotiated by Ethan Hipple, Director of the city’s Parks, Recreation & Facilities Department on behalf of Portland.

An unusually large number of members of the public testified in support of the new team; they came from the ranks of current student soccer players, coaches at all levels and non-profits whose purpose is to encourage community unity – encompassing a broad spectrum of locals and those of African heritage.

Speaker after speaker emphasized the positives that Portland United will bring to the city.  It will help to build confidence in the youth of Portland was a popular theme for speakers.Several  speakers suggested that a soccer team is a good way to integrate different cultures.

Munjoy Hill resident and long-time city critic Karen Snyder questioned whether or not uninformed  tax payers would benefit from such an agreement and whether or not schools would get the acces to Fitzpatrick Stadium they need.  Hipple said that the investments made by  Portland United in the Stadium as well as revenue opportunities for Porland far out weigh the negatives to taxpayers.  Hipple also emphasized that schools would have access to the Stadium as in the past.  Snyder is a rental property owner and is a frequent critic of real estate deals by the city.

Following the council’s approval of the agreement, cheers of victory could be heard in the hallway outside council’s chambers!  Go Portland United!


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