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Management article
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Reference no. R1107Q
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 2011

Abstract

In 2008 Merritt Paulson announced plans to bid for the right to convert the minor-league Portland Timbers into an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer starting in 2011. Since the deal required him to renovate the existing stadium for soccer, he proposed converting a beloved neighborhood park into a stadium for his baseball team, the Portland Beavers-and he wanted more than half of the $85 million project to be paid for by public funds. Perhaps not surprisingly, the plan caused an uproar, and Paulson found himself unprepared for the intense public scrutiny and criticism that followed. Another person might have buckled under the pressure and abandoned the effort. But Paulson developed a thick skin, learned how to negotiate in the spotlight, and saw his vision become a successful reality.

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Abstract

In 2008 Merritt Paulson announced plans to bid for the right to convert the minor-league Portland Timbers into an expansion franchise in Major League Soccer starting in 2011. Since the deal required him to renovate the existing stadium for soccer, he proposed converting a beloved neighborhood park into a stadium for his baseball team, the Portland Beavers-and he wanted more than half of the $85 million project to be paid for by public funds. Perhaps not surprisingly, the plan caused an uproar, and Paulson found himself unprepared for the intense public scrutiny and criticism that followed. Another person might have buckled under the pressure and abandoned the effort. But Paulson developed a thick skin, learned how to negotiate in the spotlight, and saw his vision become a successful reality.

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