Let fans become owners in MLB Portland! Push to create a fan-funded ownership group

Let fans become owners in MLB Portland! Push to create a fan-funded ownership group

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Derek Fenwick started this petition to Portland Diamond Project

Dear Portland Diamond Project,

Imagine 1,000,000+ Portland Major League Baseball fans for life...before we even have a team. How could that happen? Give fans the chance to be an owner in Portland MLB baseball.

Here's how it could look: Imagine a campaign to raise a $100M fan ownership stake in Portland baseball. Each share costs $100, one share per person (to spread the love and opportunity). Reach 1,000,000 people and the option vests: you now have a fan-funded $100M minority ownership group in Portland MLB!

Think that's crazy? With nearly 50% of Americans claiming a love for baseball (Gallup) and 4M people in our great state, we can get this done in Oregon alone! Open it up to the whole world and it’s unstoppable the funds we could generate for a fan-funded option in your incredible effort to bring MLB to Portland.

You say it for yourself on the clubhouse wall in downtown Portland:

The goal of bringing baseball to Portland will take the unified efforts of the team at PDP, combined with the motivation from our passionate fan base. You can't have one without the other.

Nothing will make fans more passionate than giving them an "owner voice." We are becoming a throwaway society, a renters-only world, an inequitable balance of haves vs. have-nots. Too many people don't know what it feels like to really own something big because the majority of people can't afford ownership any more like they could 10, 20, 30 years ago.

You come in and change all that. You give everyday fans an easy, accessible, affordable way to have an actual, real-life ownership stake in something important - the sport they love in the city they love: MLB baseball in Portland. Suddenly you've created an equity between Everyday Joe and the Russell Wilsons of the world and something that makes thousands of people across Oregon and SW Washington proud to their core to say, "I am an owner in Portland MLB."

You might ask "Can it even be done?" The exciting answer is YES! 

In 2019, Chattanooga Football Club announced that it would become the first soccer team in America to offer fans true ownership. They used a financial vehicle called regulation crowdfunding (Reg CF) that permits a company to raise up to $5 million from unaccredited investors (read: fans) in a 12-month period. At the close of the month-long campaign, 3,254 fans across all 50 US states and 30 countries invested nearly $900,000 in this innovative third-tier professional soccer team.

Just imagine how this would translate into major success for a fan-friendly franchise like Portland in a big-four sport like MLB. The results could shock the world.

We'll start by finding fan investors across Oregon and SW Washington, but we won't stop there. This is a dream come true for the 150M+ MLB baseball fans across America (and many more around the world) who would clamor for a chance to be an owner in MLB. Our campaign will have several phases, with every person on the planet included before we're all said and done.

This is just one approach. There are many options. Maybe it's $500-$1000 a share. Maybe its 100 shares max so people can gift them. Maybe we start with a $5M annual campaign because that's legally easy to do and build up to $100M over time. 

The possibilities are many but the point is the same: People care deeply about things they have a real stake in, and you could make dreams come true, create multi-generation fans (think: Green Bay Packers), and guarantee a long line of paying patrons for years to come by giving fans the chance to have an ownership stake in Portland baseball for decades to come.

Thanks for taking the time to read through our idea. Our ask is that you share this idea with the team, see how it's received, build on it, poke holes in it, make it stronger, and then - see if there's something here that could fly. If we can help at all in that process, please let us know. We are all in to help make this idea a reality.

We are ready to do the heavy lifting to organize the money and the energy. All we're asking for is your partnership in supporting our collective dream to become a minority ownership group in MLB PDX.

Thanks so much for your time and consideration, and thanks for all your effort to bring MLB to Portland.

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