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Portland council OKs stadium plan for MLS soccer

PORTLAND -- The Portland City Council has approved a $31 million plan to remodel PGE Park.

Major League Soccer awarded Portland an expansion franchise to start play in 2011, with the understanding that the multipurpose stadium would be converted into a soccer-first venue.

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson thanked the council for Wednesday's vote and said: "Now we look forward to showing the rest of the country why we are Soccer City USA."

The Portland State football team will continue to use the stadium, but baseball's Portland Beavers -- also owned by Paulson -- need a new home.

Paulson says his goal is to keep the Beavers in the Portland area.

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