Portland Approves Providence Park Expansion Agreement

Providence Park Expansion Rendering 2

The Portland City Council has given the nod to an expansion of Providence Park, as it has signed off on some key details of the project. 

Home to MLS’s Portland Timbers and NWSL’s Portland Thorns, Providence Park is set to add about 4,000 seats through a vertical expansion on its east side. Construction will take place over multiple phases, with the first round of work expected to be finished for the 2018 MLS season.

City officials had already given the go-ahead for construction to begin, but its unanimous vote of approval on Wednesday finalized some key arrangements. The club’s ownership is covering the $50 million cost of expansion, with the city granting an admissions tax exemption over the coming years and committing about $3 million for various expenses. More from The Oregonian:

The city will pay about $3 million for system repairs and replacement costs, property insurance for the expansion and for a consulting team and lawyers to oversee the project for the city, according to a City Budget Office Analysis.

The city agreed in June to waive about $5 million in ticket tax revenue over the next ten years to help lower the stadium expansion costs.

Portland currently collects taxes on Timbers, Blazers, Thorns, Winterhawks and Rose Quarter concert tickets, all of which go into a Spectator Venues and Visitor Activities Fund. Much of those funds get used to pay off debt payments for past stadium expansion and upgrades.

The city could miss out on more ticket tax revenue if the Timbers and the Thorns, Portland’s women’s soccer team, perform well, generating more ticket sales, or if other events are held at the stadium, the City Budget Office report said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the admissions tax exemption on existing seats begins in 2018 and runs until 2021 or 2022, with the end date depending on when the expansion is completed. Seats added through the expansion will be exempt from an admissions tax through 2026. MLS has already announced that, in order to accommodate the project’s construction schedule, the Timbers will not play their 2018 home opener at Providence Park until April 14.

Renderings courtesy Portland Timbers. 

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