- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On December 22, 2009
- 0 Comments
- Merritt Paulson, MLS Portland, PGE Park, Portland Timbers, Stadium Expansion, Stadium Renovations, Stadium Talk
Details of PGE Park’s $31million renovation for the Portland Timbers’ move to Major League Soccer in 2011 was released Monday to The Oregonian. Renderings show exactly how they plan on making PGE a soccer facility for good.
The biggest transformation will be the stadium’s east side. A public plaza at the corner of 18th Avenue and Morrison Street will form the main entrance, extend toward the field and include a team store open even on non-gamedays.
A sit-down restaurant will serve 1,444 midfield seats, a community meeting room will be built next to the restaurant and three group and family decks will be built for events and extra seating. A cover will jut over most of the roughly 4,000 east-section seats, echoing the existing wooden overhangs in the 83–year-old stadium. Additional restrooms and concession stands will serve the new seating areas.
Work is expected to be done started in January in time for the 2011 season.
Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said the capacity will be expanded from it’s current 16,000 to somewhere between 20,000 and 24,000, including a north auxiliary area that will be closed for most games.
The only real bad news is the field, it probably won’t be grass like most MLS fans would want.
The renovation details come with a concession: Though hard-core soccer fans wanted the Timbers’ re-vamped home to include grass, the playing surface almost certainly will be artificial turf, Paulson said.
The stadium’s reality is rainy springs and falls, and the need to accommodate the Portland State football team, high school games and other events. Crisscrossing field lines for football and soccer when those seasons overlap would be far more difficult to manage on grass, Paulson said.
“We’re going to have days where we play soccer right after football games, and on a rainy day, the field would be utterly destroyed,” he said.
I guess we can let the complaining on PGE Park begin out of fans and players. I know FieldTurf is an eyesore to most but it isn’t the absolute worst thing in the world and it’s come a long way from its AstroTurf days.
I think overall it’s exciting news to hear and see details of their plans for this stadium (finally). Hopefully the work gets done on time and things work out for Paulson and company.