Timbers propose $50M, 4,000-seat expansion at Providence Park - KPTV - FOX 12

Timbers propose $50M, 4,000-seat expansion at Providence Park

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Rendering of interior of new expansion at Providence Park (courtesy Brooklyn Digital Foundry) Rendering of interior of new expansion at Providence Park (courtesy Brooklyn Digital Foundry)
Rendering of exterior of new expansion at Providence Park (courtesy Allied Works Architecture) Rendering of exterior of new expansion at Providence Park (courtesy Allied Works Architecture)

The home of the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns is set to get a facelift.

The Timbers announced a proposal for a $50 million expansion project at Providence Park Wednesday that would add approximately 4,000 new seats to the east side of the stadium.

The expansion, which would be privately financed, would also bring a street-level colonnade, and club leaders say the move would ensure the future viability of Providence Park as the home for the Timbers and Thorns.

Portland-based architecture firm Allied Works designed the proposed expansion, which would add a 93-foot high covered structure on the east side, adding four levels, with three of those being used for reserved and group seating sections to help meet ticket demands.

The Timbers have sold out each match since their first season in the MLS in 2011, and there is currently more than 13,000 fans on the waiting list for season tickets.

“Obviously, you look at the waiting list and you look at the thirst for the sport in this community,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said. “So I think it’s something that was necessary and needed, it made sense, the timing’s good and it’s exciting.”

As the league has continued to grow, so has its stadiums. Providence Park has seating for just over 21,000 fans for soccer matches, putting it in the bottom half of league venues in terms of size.

“We saw where our demand was, we also saw where the league economics and growth was going,” Mike Golub, president of business for the Timbers and Thorns FC, said. “And so we knew that for us to be viable and competitive now and well into the future, we knew that we had to make plans.”

The club noted that the original plans for Providence Park, then called Multnomah Stadium, called for a full U-shape design, and the expansion would complete that build, nearly 100 years after the facility originally opened.

“The expansion of Providence Park will continue to honor the rich history and traditions of the stadium and city of Portland and marry them with the best of modern stadia,” Golub added.

Club officials believe the expansion would also benefit the city in attracting more large-scale events, and would also be an improvement for other users of the stadium, including Portland State University, which plays it home football games at Providence Park.

Fans told FOX 12 Wednesday that they welcomed the plan, saying possible increases in congestion or construction concerns were easily outmatched by how the expansion could bring even more fans to the matches.

“It might make the congestion harder to get here, but the MAX is great,” fan Nora Streiffer said. “There’s a lot of public transportation, so I think that’s a wonderful thing.”

“I think it’s great. I think it will open up more season ticket opportunities,” fan Steve Hawley added. “I mean, they sell out every game anyways.  So getting more fans in the stadium is fantastic.”

The potential construction timeline for the project would take place over two off-seasons, meaning the expansion would be ready for the opening of either the 2019 or 2020 MLS season.

“This proposed project is a win-win for everyone involved, and we’ve been very encouraged by the collaborative work that’s been put into this project to date,” said Golub. “We still have some work to do, but we are actively working with the city and neighborhood association, and everyone is excited by the prospect of an expanded Providence Park and ensuring the long-term viability of this unique stadium.”

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