Faced with a season-ticket waitlist of approximately 13,000, Portland is researching methods to expand capacity at Providence Park by as much as 3,500.
Since joining MLS in 2011, the Timbers have regularly filled the stadium, which has an official capacity of 21,144. Earlier plans focused on the south end of the stadium, to which 1,000 to 2,000 seats could be added by filling in areas around and behind the scoreboard.
On Tuesday The Oregonian newspaper ran a story stating a more extensive renovation was being researched.
“We have huge demand to attend our matches and we need more seats to satisfy at least part of that demand,” said Timbers president of business Mike Golub “We've been examining a new approach in last few months that we're excited about that would add as many as 3,500 seats.”
Golub did not disclose specifics, but the team has a working design and has joined forces with a firm to investigate logistics and finances. The team has stated it will pay for any renovations which would improve amenities as well as increase capacity.
Approval from the city would be needed and if any work was done on the south end, the plans would be subject to approval by the Multnomah Athletic Club, which sits adjacent to that section of the stadium.
The city of Portland contributed $12 million to an extensive renovation of the stadium to bring it up to MLS standards at a cost of $31 million. On most events at Providence Park, the city collects 7 percent of ticket revenue. The Timbers pay a rental fee of nearly $1 million annually to use the facility and have exceeded the minimum guarantee stipulated in the renovation deal in each of their MLS seasons.
In 2015, the city received $2,044,223 in rental payments, ticket taxes, and overage bonuses from events at Providence Park, which is used for games of the NWSL Portland Thorns as well as Timbers’ matches. Two years ago, the team and city re-worked terms to pay for replacing the artificial-turf playing surface.