Portland Moves Forward on Providence Park Expansion

A unanimous vote on Wednesday allows the proposed expansion of Providence Park to move forward, as the city council showed its support for the Portland Timbers‘ plan. 

The Portland City Council discussed a concept that was recently unveiled by the Timbers in which 4,000 seats will be added to the east side of Providence Park. Estimated to cost at least $50 million, the project would be privately financed by the Timbers, but the organization is seeking an agreement for a tax exemption on the new seats.

For the first 10 years that the expansion is in place, the Timbers would receive an admission tax exemption on the new seating. While the tax revenue is estimated to amount to about $200,000 annually, mayor Ted Wheeler and the city council have expressed their support for moving forward with the plan. Wednesday’s vote is a key part of the process, but additional action will need to be taken. More from The Oregonian:

By approving Wheeler’s resolution, the City Council set in motion a process that will have the council vote in May on whether to hire architects and planners to represent the city during design of the new stadium section. In June, the council will vote on specific terms for the expansion and the associated tax break, said Tom Rinehart, the city’s chief administrative officer.

By voting to support the Timbers’ expansion plan, the city council signaled it approved in concept a tax exemption that would waive all ticket taxes on the 4,000 new seats for 10 years. After that period, the Timbers will pay the city a tax on tickets it sells for those seat in perpetuity, Timbers President of Business Mike Golub said.

Commissioner Nick Fish, Wheeler and Golub all noted that the proposal asks the city to waive taxes on tickets that would not otherwise exist without the Timbers spending $50 million on an expansion.

“It seems reasonable to ask for an exemption on taxes that would not already be generated,” Fish said.

The Timbers have commonly drawn capacity crowds at Providence Park, and have an estimated 13,000 individuals on their waiting list for season tickets. Providence Park is also home to the Portland Thorns, who have proven over the last few years to be one of the top draws in the NWSL. If approved, the expansion is expected to unfold over two phases of construction.

Rendering courtesy Portland Timbers.

RELATED STORIES: Timbers Pitch Providence Park Expansion to CityPortland Timbers Pitch Providence Park ExpansionMerrit Paulson Discusses Providence Park ExpansionPortland Timbers Mapping Out Stadium Expansion; Portland Timbers Mulling Providence Park Expansion

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