Seahawks' Russell Wilson, Ciara partner with Portland Diamond Project

June 1, 2018, 12:16 PM

Russell Wilson and his wife, Ciara, are the latest to put their names and money on the line to try to bring a baseball team to Portland, Oregon.

Local group Portland Diamond Project, whose mission is to bring Major League Baseball to the city, announced the Seattle Seahawks quarterback and the singer as being new partners.

No financial details were announced, but a source said all partners in the venture split the costs equally for the effort. If MLB were to award the city an expansion franchise, those involved in the project would naturally be the favorites to be owners. It would be more complicated if a current team with an existing owner moved to town.

Wilson is also a partner in a venture to bring the NBA back to Seattle. If either come to fruition, and Wilson is in line to become an owner, the NFL would ultimately have to approve the transaction, to ensure that any other partners would not be offering him extra incentive that could result in tampering.

The Portland Diamond Project was formally announced last month. It is led by former Nike executive Craig Cheek, who got to know Wilson when the quarterback signed his endorsement deal with the brand. The plan is to acquire land in the area and begin the process of building a ballpark.

Earlier this month, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he would like to expand by two teams, to 32. He previously cited Montreal, Charlotte and Mexico City as early favorites.

For the past two decades, Portland has been mentioned as a community that could support baseball, though the knock is that the only current minor league team in the market is the Hillsboro Hops, a Class A short-season team.

Wilson was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 and the Colorado Rockies in 2010. He played in spring training games for the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees.