Portland's support for the stadium work will become more concrete when the city council votes in May to hire design consultants and in June to approve the tax exemption plan.
The Timbers have a problem rarely ever seen in American soccer. They've sold out every game at Providence Park and have 13,000 fans on the waiting list for season tickets. (Their renewal rate: 99 percent.)
The irony is that Timbers are seeking to build back up the capacity of the former Civic Stadium, which drew 35,548 fans for the NASL's 1977 Soccer Bowl, Pele's final game with the Cosmos.
A $40 million renovation of the stadium took place in 2010 for the Timbers' MLS launch. A complex agreement between the city of Portland and Timbers owner Merritt Paulson called for the city to fund part of the costs through stadium renovation bonds and for Paulson to contribute cash and prepaid rent.
The Timbers also agreed to pay a minimum revenue amount based on a tax on ticket sales. Those revenues, which have exceeded projections each year, go into the city's spectator facilities fund that is used to pay down the stadium renovation bonds.