Russell Wilson and Ciara want to bring Major League Baseball to Portland

Russell Wilson has dabbled a bit in baseball, and now he and his superstar wife want to get into the baseball business.

The Seattle Seahawks quarterback and his wife, singer Ciara, are investors in a group hoping to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland. Wilson announced that in a blog post and through a news release.

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Wilson and Ciara were announced as “owner/investors” according to The Oregonian, and are the first people to publicly announce their investment in the project. Wilson, who spent some time in the low minors in 2010 and 2011 before going back to football (smart move), and Ciara are investing in the project for different, noble reasons.

Wilson’s connection to baseball runs deep

Wilson said he’s joining the Portland Diamond Project, the group trying to bring MLB to Portland, as a way of passing the game down to kids the way his father taught him the game. Wilson referenced coaching Ciara’s son Future (her child from a previous relationship with hip-hop star Future). 

“When I think about bringing new energy, spirit, and care to a city it reminds me of being a father,” Wilson wrote in his blog post. “Passing your passion and your insight on to your kids is so important. Teaching Future how to play little league baseball has been one of the best experiences of my life. It’s a time I have cherished the most.” 

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Russell Wilson at Spring Training
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Russell Wilson at Spring Training
Feb 26, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (73) throws a ball during practice before a Spring Training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 26, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawk quarterback RussellWilson (second from right) stands with other New York Yankees players during the first inning of a Spring Training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 26, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (73) talks with New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) during practice before a Spring Training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 26, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson speaks to media during practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
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Ciara hoping to empower more women ownership in sports

Ciara and Wilson will hold a minority ownership stake if Portland gets an MLB team, The Oregonian reported. For Ciara, it would be meaningful for a female to have an ownership stake in professional sports. 

“I want to see this vision come to life and empower more women owners in major sports franchises,” Ciara said in a news release.

The power couple is in a financial position to make it happen. Ciara, a Grammy-winning singer, has had a very successful career in music. Wilson’s most recent contract with the Seahawks was for $87.6 million over four years.

How realistic is an MLB team in Portland?

The Oregonian reported that the leaders of the Portland Diamond Project understand it will take time before their vision could become reality. The project’s leaders assume a team in Portland wouldn’t happen until 2022 at the earliest, the Oregonian reported.

Portland is on a short list of potential cities that the MLB could move to if it expands or relocates. The Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays are two teams regularly speculated as relocation candidates because of their poor stadium situations. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in an interview with The Athletic that the Tampa Bay and Oakland issues would have to be cleared up before expansion becomes realistic.

But Portland is getting its affairs in order so it is ready if Major League Baseball ever seriously looks for a new location. It’s a ways down the road, if it happens at all, but the project got a nice publicity bump by adding two celebrities to the investor group.

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Ciara and Russell Wilson together
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Ciara and Russell Wilson together
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Professional football player Russell Wilson and singer Ciara arrive at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
US football quarterback Russell Wilson and US singer Ciara Princess Wilson pose upon their arrival for the 25th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Academy Awards Viewing Party on February 26, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. / AFP / TIBRINA HOBSON (Photo credit should read TIBRINA HOBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: (L-R) New England Patriots CEO Robert Kraft, recording artist Ciara, host Elton John, and NFL player Russell Wilson attend the 25th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Academy Awards Viewing Party at The City of West Hollywood Park on February 26, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 12: NFL Player Russell Wilson (L) and Musician Ciara attend Warner Music Group's Annual GRAMMY Celebration at Milk Studios on February 12, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images for Fashion Media)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 24: NFL player Russell Wilson (L) and singer Ciara attend Vanity Fair and Genesis Celebrate 'Hidden Figures' on February 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Singer Ciara and NFL player Russell Wilson attend The 2017 MAKERS Conference Day 3 at Terranea Resort on February 8, 2017 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for AOL)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 14: Football player Russell Wilson and recording artist Ciara attend the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2016 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 14, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/KCSports2016/WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 14: Recording artist Ciara and football player Russell Wilson attend the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2016 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 14, 2016 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/KCSports2016/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: Russell Wilson and Ciara attend the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: NFL player Russell Wilson (L) and recording artist Ciara attend the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Ciara and Russell Wilson at the Regents Street Burberry store on July 7, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Milan/GC Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: Seattle Seahawk, Russell Wilson and Singer, Ciara pose for a photo before the 2016 NBA Finals Game Seven between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors on June 19, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bruce Yeung/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: NFL player Russell Wilson and singer/co-host Ciara attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/BBMA2016/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 22: Singer Ciara (R) and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson arrive at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: Ciara and Russell Wilson are seen arriving at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on May 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by TSM/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Russell Wilson and Ciara attend Daily Front Row Fashion Los Angeles Awards Private Dinner Hosted By Eva Chow And Carine Roitfeld at Mr Chow on March 20, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Daily Front Row)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 19: NFL player Russell Wilson (L) and Ciara attend the season grand opening of the Marquee Nightclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on March 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
US American football quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson (L) and his gilfriend US singer Ciara (R) attend the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Montpellier (MHSC) on March 5, 2016, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE / AFP / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: NFL player Russell Wilson (L) and recording artist Ciara attend the GRAMMY Charities Signings backstage during The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 14: NFL player Russell Wilson (L) and singer Ciara attend the 2016 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Irving Azoff at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 14, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Ciara and Russell Wilson are seen leaving the Polo Ralph Lauren presentation during Fall 2016 New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Ciara and Russell Wilson attend the Washington Wizards vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on February 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 08: Taylor Swift, Russell Wilson and Ciara perform at CenturyLink Field on August 8, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/LP5/Getty Images for TAS)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 16: NFL player Russell Wilson (L) and singer Ciara arrive at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2015 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 16, 2015 in Westwood, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 16: NFL player Russell Wilson and singer Ciara arrive at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2015 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 16, 2015 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15: NFL player Russell Wilson (L) and singer Ciara arrive at the The 2015 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks and Ciara Harris arrive for the State dinner in honor of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe And Akie Abe April 28, 2015 at the Booksellers area of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)
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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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