Expansion Tales

Here’s couple new renders of the proposed Providence Park expansion as posted on NextPortland.com, along with a short write up detailing not much of anything. We finally get to see a close up version of the new homeless camp pedestrian arcade. Check out Chatterbox for a far more interesting article on how the expansion plans came to be, including options for the roof materials and a word or two from a representative of the MAC club. I may be exposing my architectural ignorance here, but I was surprised to learn they didn’t have the details of the roofing materials figured out when they designed it. Turns out it could be made of steel, or fabric. Hopefully they’ll plan for the once-a-decade heavy (for Portland) snow accumulation.

In stadium expansion news, the Oregonian published a confusing and inaccurate account of the potential new deal with the City of Portland and the Timbers. Stumptown Footy addressed those issues in detail, and it appears the original Oregonian article has been largely re-written.

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New Stadium Renders

OregonLive.com posted some additional renders of the proposed expansion of Providence Park. Another baby step, the plans have been presented to the city’s Design Commission, and were met with “general support.” The more I see of the renders, the more I like it. Still not crazy about the strip mall feel* from in the inside view, but the exterior is looking good.

*As I scroll down to look at those first renders, I realize I no longer have any objections to the way it looks on the inside. Must have just been the initial shock of seeing them for the first time.

Stadium Expansion Baby Steps

The Portland City Council passed a resolution expressing formal support for the stadium expansion plans, opening the door for the rest of the things that need to fall in place as well. Three things of note, there will be a special exemption from the competitive bidding process, I assume because construction is being paid for by Peregrine Sports. The second thing, and one that has a few people grumpy, is that the 4,000 new seats would be exempt from city ticket taxes for a period of 10 years. Some see this as a government subsidy, while most reasonable people feel it’s a fair concession considering tax dollars won’t be spent on construction. The final point of interest, Peregrine’s representative would not comment on the time period required for the Timbers to recoup the investment, because the project had not been finalized yet. The section of the hearing relevant to the Timbers starts at around the 2 hour and 13 minute mark and runs for about 35 minutes. Some of the mechanics of the deal and the different ways it can be interpreted are fairly interesting.

Stadium Expansion Renders Released

Today the Portland Timbers released renders of the proposed new stadium expansion that would add 4,000 seats to our current capacity. It’s safe to say the entire fanbase is excited about adding more seats, but reactions to the renders are somewhat mixed. Personally, I don’t think it fits very well with the style of the existing stadium. I had a feeling this was going to be difficult to achieve, and I’m sure many people felt like the current Key Club section didn’t fit in very well when it was new. To it’s credit though, the roof style did have a connection to old park. This new one, not so much. In the release they compare the new stadium addition to the “iconic” La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, that quite frankly looks garish and tacky in the picture they chose. More like a stacked strip mall than anything I’d want to brag about. I showed the interior shot to my 9 year old thinking he’d be excited, and his first reaction was “It’s ugly.” Hey, it could be a lot worse. It could be Soldier Field.

However…. it’s already grown on me since the first time I looked at it earlier in the day. I’m excited about it, top-heavy or not. The biggest surprise is that this huge addition only adds 4,000 seats because it looks like so much more. The best news is that the whole thing is going to be privately funded! An extra 4,000 seats and the new $10 a beer price tag ought to help out some. Projections say the work can take place  during the off-seasons with a completion date as early as 2019. Let’s hope the NIMBY’s can be kept in check. I imagine the neighborhood will want to talk about parking.

The sooner we get started, the sooner we can work on that South end too! Merritt, on the off chance you’re reading this, don’t forget to add hooks for tifo rigging, and thanks for picking up the tab in Columbus!

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