MLS's expansion into Portland and Vancouver gives the league three teams with rabid fan support in the Pacific Northwest, but it must ensure tickets will be available for fans wishing to travel to away games. Current rules require that teams make available only 150 tickets to away supporters. It's a particular concern for the two Seattle-Portland games. The teams have a rivalry dating back to their days in the USL-1.
"We'll definitely need more than 150 tickets," said Keith Hodo, president of Portland's Emerald City Supporters. "The important thing we did was to raise awareness about the issue. It's definitely an important issue that MLS needs to hammer out very soon."
Timbers' management is very aware of their fans' concerns. "We got on the same page fairly quickly about what we would like to propose," Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said. "There have may been some initial concerns some teams might have had, but we got over those really quickly. The away ticket policy in the Pacific Northwest is becoming a bigger issue league-wide. It's got implications for other teams."