Timbers announce finalization of team sale

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers today announced the finalization of the sale of the professional sports franchises to Shortstop, LLC, led by majority owner Merritt Paulson.

On May 22, the teams and their former ownership group, Portland Baseball Investment Group, announced that an agreement was reached to sell the franchises to Paulson and Shortstop, LLC. The transfer was subject to a standard approval and finalization process, and today’s announcement completes the transaction.

Paulson, 34, will assume the positions of president of the Beavers and Timbers, and general manager of the Beavers immediately. Paulson and his wife, Heather, are in the process of moving to Portland.

“I could not be more excited about this opportunity in Portland with the Beavers and Timbers,” Paulson said. “It is hard for me to imagine a better city to live in and two teams with more potential.

“I look forward to getting to work.”

While Paulson owns a majority of the teams, his father, Henry M. Paulson, also has a percentage of ownership, due to his small minority interest in Shortstop, LLC. Henry Paulson’s interests do not involve any managerial or operational responsibilities in connection with Shortstop, LLC, and Merritt is the majority owner. Henry Paulson is currently serving as the Secretary of the Treasury for the United States.

Portland Baseball Investment Group – led by majority investor Abe Alizadeh – purchased the teams in 2005, upgrading overall performance and management at PGE Park and realizing substantial growth in attendance, ticket sales and corporate partnerships in two years.

“Owning the Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers has been a terrific and rewarding experience for me and all the investors of Portland Baseball Investment Group,” Alizadeh said. “I am very proud of the progress that we made and appreciate very much the hard work and dedication of our amazing staff. I especially want to thank the community of Portland for the warm welcome provided to me and my family; I will always be grateful. Finally, on behalf of our entire ownership group, I sincerely thank the thousands of baseball and soccer fans that helped make this such a tremendous experience.

“The Beavers and Timbers are poised for great success, and there’s no better person to hand the reigns to than Merritt Paulson. His commitment to the community, Beavers and Timbers fans, and the concept of providing affordable family entertainment makes him a great fit for this opportunity. We wish Merritt the very best.”

The long-term goals of Merritt Paulson and Shortstop, LLC will be to optimize and continue to improve the fan experience at all PGE Park events. Paulson also is fiercely dedicated to better integrating the two franchises together into the Portland community and will be focusing on community outreach. 

“These teams can be a real catalyst in helping the greater Portland community; they can help shine light on areas that need attention and generate resources required to better the quality of life,” Paulson said.

The Portland Beavers professional baseball club, originally founded in 1903, is a member of the 16-team Triple-A Pacific Coast League and began its 2007 regular-season schedule in April. The Beavers, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, play a 72-game home schedule that runs from April through early September at PGE Park in Portland, Ore. For ticket information, go to www.portlandbeavers.com or call (503) 553-5555.

The Portland Timbers professional soccer team, originally founded as part of the North American Soccer League in 1975, is a member of the 12-team First Division of United Soccer Leagues and began its 2007 home schedule also in April. The Timbers play a 14-game home schedule that runs from April through early September at PGE Park in Portland, Ore. For ticket information, go to www.portlandtimbers.com or call (503) 553-5555.