Portland Timbers owner Merrit Paulson says that down the road, USL club Timbers 2 could leave Portland for another city.
Timbers 2 plays its home matches at Providence Park, also the home of its MLS parent club. For the 2017 season, Timbers averaged 2,524 fans per-game, ranking 20th in the USL.
Timbers 2 will remain at Providence Park for 2018, but Paulson is indicating that that arrangement might not a long-term option for the club. In recent remarks, Paulson discussed how the organization is evaluating the club’s future. He noted that an option for Timbers 2 could be to relocate to another city and obtain a partner to run business operations, citing the recent announcement of Sounders FC 2’s shift to Tacoma as an example of what could happen in the long run. More from The Oregonian:
Timbers and Timbers 2 (T2) owner Merritt Paulson told Timbers in 30 that the club is evaluating its business model around T2 and is looking at the possibility of moving the team and finding a partner to help run the business.
“We also need to look at business-wise what’s the right approach,” Paulson said. “I’m not sure it’s sustainable for us to continue to operate the team totally autonomously at the stadium. We’re looking at partnership, similar to what Seattle has done with Tacoma. We could do that locally. We might even go out of state.”
While Paulson said that T2 will continue to play at Providence Park and remain solely under the Timbers’ control next season, he also said that the organization is already in the process of evaluating the long-term future of T2.
Pauslon said the club would consider aligning with another organization and moving T2 to another city — either in Oregon or out of state — in the future, similar to what the Seattle Sounders are doing with Seattle Sounders FC 2 (S2).
One likely landing spot could be Boise. Discussions continue to take place there over the construction of a new downtown venue that could house baseball’s Boise Hawks (Short Season A; Northwest League) as well as professional soccer. As we have noted in relation to that effort, USL has been prominently mentioned in the past, with the Timbers discussed as a potential parent.
Image courtesy Portland Timbers 2.