Portland Timbers prepare stadium for home opener as construction remains ongoing at Providence Park
7 April 2018
The Portland Timbers and Thorns are preparing to welcome fans to Providence Park for the first time since construction began on the organization’s $55 million-plus stadium expansion project last November.
The Timbers will host Minnesota United in their 2018 MLS home opener on April 14. The Thorns will then play the Orlando Pride in their 2018 NWSL home opener the following day.
The stadium expansion project, which is expected to add approximately 4,000 seats to Providence Park, remains on schedule to be completed by Spring 2019. But staying within that timeline means that construction on stadium will remain ongoing during 2018.
“As you can see, everything is on schedule and we’re doing really well,”Timbers President of Business Mike Golub said. “We’ll be ready to go on April 14, which is the Timbers home opener. The following day, the Thorns have their home opener.”
The organization is working hard to limit the impact of the construction on fans during 2018, while still moving forward with the project. No construction will occur during games and no seats or sight lines are expected to be impacted by the construction.
Still, fanswith seats on the east side of Providence Park may notice some changes on game days.
Golub said that there a couple portions of the east side concourse and one east side entrance that will be closed during the home openers. The club will be adding a temporary entrance to the east side of the stadium and will be reaching out to fans about changes and closures ahead of the match.
Golub said the club is encouraging fans to arrive early to matches this season to navigate the construction.
“We’re going to make it very clear to fans what to expect,” Golub said “For a small portion of fans, they’ll see a few different things because of the construction, but for the great majority of fans it will be status quo.”
The first phase of construction this offseason focused primarily on foundational and utility work. Turner Construction laid down 228 micropiles and put up 39 columns to support the addition of three new levels and alarger roof on the east side of the stadium. The project also includes the widening of the sidewalk and the addition of a covered arcade on SW 18th Ave.
“The project is split into two phases,” said Brian Sadom, project manager for Turner Construction. “The first phase was to complete the construction from the deep foundations down at the field level up through the first lift of columns.”
During the offseason, a massive crane was also installed on the east side of Providence Park. The crane will enable Turner Construction to build the first of three new levels on the east side of Providence Park during the 2018 season.
As construction continues,there might be different things that fans have to navigate on a game-to-game basis. Golub said the club will inform fans of any changes prior to the matches.
“Between games, the crews get back to work and move the project forward,” Golub said. “As that progresses over the course of the summer, some of the construction pieces fans will see from game-to-game will shift. So, we’ll be in constant communication with our fans, letting them know what to expect game-to-game.”
The organization unveiled its plans for stadium expansion last April and the project was officially approved by the Portland City Council in December. The project is being privately funded.
The Timbers currently have more than 13,000 fans on their season ticket waitlist.The expansion project will enable the Timbers to sell 3,000 to 3,200 new season tickets.
The Timbers are playing their first five games of the MLS season on the road due to the construction. The Thorns played their first two matches of the season on the road.
“We’re really excited,” Golub said. “The essence of the design is to take what’s magical about this stadium and build on that and enhance the amazing atmosphere that we have.”