In February 2023, Metro Council and the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission unanimously supported two main objectives proposed by Metro’s chief operating officer as a result of phase 1:
- Metro will recognize Expo Center’s Hall A as a site of national historical significance and meaningfully memorialize the site’s history of forced displacement during World War II and the Vanport Floods, as well as the site’s pre-colonial history and importance to Indigenous Peoples.
- Leveraging Oregon’s status as an international powerhouse in the sport and outdoor industry, Metro will pivot Expo’s future redevelopment as a community-centric destination venue that prioritizes amateur, professional, and recreational sports.
This moved the project into phase 2. In this phase, the project team will determine if these objectives are achievable and sustainable.
Metro will conduct a community engagement process focused on how to meaningfully memorialize the Expo Center’s complex cultural and historical legacy. Metro will also hire a consulting firm to conduct a sports feasibility study. This study will help decision makers understand whether or not transforming the Expo Center into a sports-focused complex will help with business redevelopment and capital investment.
Metro will also establish three governance committees to inform and guide the redevelopment process: an executive advisory committee, a cultural and historical memorialization committee, and a sports and facilities committee.
These committees are designed to address the two objectives identified in February 2023. Members will consist of people from communities impacted by the Portland Expo Center such as the Black, Urban Indigenous, and Japanese-American communities. Business and elected leaders will be included as well.
Meetings will begin in late summer 2023 and run through December 2024.
At the conclusion of this information gathering, Metro Council and the Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Committee will decide on next steps, ending Phase 2.