Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Portland unveils stadium plan
by Ridge Mahoney, December 23rd, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

During meetings in the days leading up to MLS Cup last month, the league's Board of Governors heard a presentation, described by one of them as "very impressive," regarding renovations of PGE Park, where an expansion team is scheduled to begin playing in 2011.

The details of that renovation have been posted on the team's MLS Web site. A facility that will seat 20,000 with an additional 4,000 seats available if needed is scheduled to be ready in time for the start of the 2011 season. Estimated cost of the retrofit is $31 million, and yet to be decided is where the current primary tenant, the minor-league baseball Beavers, will play once the MLS team takes over PG&E Park.

All four sides of the stadium will enclose the field, with addition of seats and a club level to fill in the mostly vacant east side. On that same side is a public plaza near a light-rail stop that will serve as the main entrance, with a club shop to be built for sales of team merchandise. A roof will extend over most of the seats in the east section.

The facility will also feature seats at field level, a restaurant, and group and family decks for parties and picnics, and a privately owned sports and rehabilitation clinic. Merritt Paulson, owner of the USL-1 Timbers and majority investor in the MLS franchise, said Monday the playing surface will most likely be FieldTurf to stand up under rainy weather and other uses of the field, including high school events and Portland State football.

Paulson is still looking for a site to build a baseball stadium for the Beavers, which is one of the contingencies of the city obtaining an MLS team. Suburban and downtown possibilities have been proposed but no solution has been found.

PGE Park, formerly known as Multnomah Stadium and Civic Stadium, has been renovated twice in its 83-year history, and the city is still paying off a $40 million facelift completed in 2001. A few MLS officials initially balked at the age and configuration of the facility and downgraded Portland's expansion prospects, but they liked its downtown location - a la Seattle and Toronto - as well as the prospects of a triangle rivalry between Portland, the Sounders and Vancouver, which will also join MLS in 2011.

Paulson's dogged pursuit of a suitable renovation plan and pledge to relocate the Beavers, which he also owns, swayed city officials to his side, and gained Board of Governors' confidence.

"The city council agreement was a tremendous achievement for Merritt Paulson," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber last March when acceptance of Portland's bid was officially announced. "There's a lot of consideration and flexibility in that deal which says a lot about his enthusiasm for getting something done with the city. Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard are both very committed to the Major League Soccer project."

Construction is scheduled to begin in January, will be suspended during the football and baseball seasons and resume in September.

Portland has apparently contacted a very viable candidate to be its head coach; Dynamo assistant coach John Spencer, who told the Houston Chronicle earlier this month he declined an invitation to interview for the vacant D.C. United position because he'd been approached by another club, which he did not name.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Olsen is still MLS's youngest head coach    
[MAKING A LIST] Almost four years after being named D.C. United head coach, Ben Olsen is ...
D.C. United rewards Olsen with multi-year extension    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Head coach Ben Olsen, who survived D.C. United's horrific 2013 campaign, the worst in ...
Valeri volleys a golazo on the run     
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] Portland's Diego Valeri looks set to garner his third ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] No. 6 Washington rebounded from allowing an early goal to beat USF, 2-1, in ...
Howard gaffes cost Everton dearly at home    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Everton's defensive troubles in the English Premier League continued as it dropped a 3-2 ...
Toronto FC ends misery, extends Chivas USA's drought    
[MLS: Sunday] Chivas USA was just what Toronto FC needed to snap a six-game winless streak. ...
Banner year for MLS scoring    
[BY THE NUMBERS] MLS is enjoying its highest-scoring season since it began its expansion push a ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] Senior Sarah Killion tied a UCLA record with three assists in the game to ...
FC Edmonton puts itself in playoff mix    
[NASL: Fall Week 11] FC Edmonton jumped four teams in the fall standings, moving into third ...
What They're Saying: Alessandro Florenzi    
"It's not every day that an 82-year-old gets to the stadium. ... This goal is for ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives