The Portland Timbers have proposed a new, $50 million-plus, privately-financed expansion project that would add approximately 4,000 new seats to the east side of the stadium, the club announced on Wednesday.
The home of the Timbers and the NWSL Portland Thorns, Providence Park has a capacity of 21,144 for soccer, putting the venue in the bottom half of MLS in terms of size. The Timbers have sold out every single MLS regular season and playoff match at home since they joined the league in 2011, and currently have a season ticket waiting list of more than 13,000.
Inspired in part by the Shakespearean Globe Theater in London and La Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires, the proposed design would add a 93-foot tall covered structure to the east side of the stadium. The proposal includes four new levels on the expanded east side, with three of the four levels created for reserved and group seating sections and including a pedestrian-friendly public arcade along SW 18th Avenue.
The expansion project would come at no cost to the city of Portland, which owns Providence Park. The Timbers will continue to work with the city and the neighborhood association on the specifics of the proposal and begin the initial design-review process. The construction timeline will on when potential approval is received and will include a two-offseason process, beginning either at the conclusion of the 2017 or 2018 season and ending in time for either the beginning of the 2019 or 2020 MLS season.
“This proposed project is a win-win for everyone involved, and we’ve been very encouraged by the collaborative work that’s been put into this project to date,” Mike Golub, president of business for the Timbers and Thorns, said in a statement. “We still have some work to do, but we are actively working with the city and neighborhood association, and everyone is excited by the prospect of an expanded Providence Park and ensuring the long-term viability of this unique stadium.”