The Portland Timbers have proven to be a popular draw in the Rose City, prompting the team to consider a significant expansion to Providence Park.
Ever since the MLS arrived in Portland, it has been greeted by significant fan support, a trend that has continued into this season. Through 11 matches, the Timbers are averaging 21,114 fans per game, which amounts to a capacity crowd for Providence Park.
With this trend likely to continue, the Timbers have begun the planning process for expanding Providence Park. Plans for an earlier increase of 2,000 seats have been scratched for one that will bump the capacity by as many 3,500 spectators, but the Timbers still need to work out a few details. More from the Oregonian:
“We have huge demand to attend our matches and we need more seats to satisfy at least part of that demand,” Timbers President of Business Mike Golub said. “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.”
While adding seats is obviously a priority for the Timbers, Golub said that the club is only interested in expanding capacity in a way that would not adversely impact the current fan experience.
“This new design that we’re focusing on is really exciting because it’s new real estate in an area that’s really complimentary to the existing fan experience,” Golub said. “If it ends up being feasible, we think it will be a really exciting scenario.”
Professional soccer as a whole is taking off in Portland, as the NWSL’s Portland Thorns–who also play out of Providence Park–are also drawing big crowds. According to the Oregonian, any expansion to Providence park is unlikely to take place until after the 2018 season.