Expansion of Jeld-Wen field

Discussion in 'Portland Timbers' started by Goforthekill, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    i'm not from portland but it's pretty clear to any MLS fan that Portland will need ways to expand Jeld-Wen in a few years because of the overwhelming popularity of the Timbers. there doesn't seem to be many places to expand. are there any plans? Where could they expand? Could the Timbers buy that building in the scoreboard end and turn it into some extra seating? maybe a stadium club or some suites? could they turn the corner with the Tennis Courts into something like this?

    [ame="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pvsbond/4806538275/"]Budweiser Deck at Target Field | Flickr - Photo Sharing![/ame]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Western_Metal_Supply_Co..jpg


  2. USNatsfan Yesiam

    USNatsfan Yesiam Member

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    The building on the South end is the Multnomah Athletic Club, and is probably worth more than the entire stadium renovation to date. If I remember correctly, their property extends outward toward the stadium and actually required that Timbers ownership obtain an easement to let them put a scoreboard there. In return, the MAC has an observation deck high above the field for their own members' use.

    [​IMG]

    I'd love to see more seats in the South end, but I think that they wanted to preserve that lane as an access road (for concerts, etc), and buying the adjacent property would be hugely expensive. Maybe starting with some more temporary grandstand seating would be OK.

    What ownership REALLY needs to do is fully uncover the tarped seating and bring the stadium up to full capacity -- doing this would require improving the main concourse facilities / entrances.
    redinthemorning repped this.
  3. Kejsare

    Kejsare Member

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    I appreciate the enthusiasm.

    First, lets address the building behind the scoreboard:

    The Multnomah Athletic Club (colloquially known as the MAC club - redundant, I know) owned the land that Jeld-Wen sits on going back to 1880 or earlier. The athletic club built the stadium in 1925-6. The stadium was deeded over to the City in the 1960s. That deed contains encumbrances such as right of first refusal (ability to stop the City from selling the stadium) and right to not have their view into the stadium blocked. Lastly, the membership of the club consists of Portland's elite. It is an exclusive membership with a high cost of entry.

    What this means is that the south end can only do so much until they run up against an institution that has been there for 130+ years. Possible to add seats up until you get to the MAC club's seats. That's about it. But the placement of the scoreboard (which is nearly unnecessary at Jeld-Wen) is still an issue. It cannot go higher or the MAC club will stop it.

    The east side that just went in. Hypothetically, you could add a second tier of seats. The downside is that those seats will be less expensive, so the investment doesn't yet justify the expense. The width from the sidelines to the sidewalk and street is pretty narrow. Also, the neighborhood group asked and received their request that the open nature of 18th Street from the street level stays open. That hinders certain improvements that would block the view.

    The old seats. Not sure what can be done. The current complaint and why they limited seating is the size of the concourses. The concourse on the West end used to follow along the street level. After the 2000 renovation they leveled out the concourse. The image below shows that the windows on the left are the old concourse level and the current concourse is below level. This means that there are no exits from the concourse between about 114 to the end at 123. It can take 15 minutes after a match to clear that entire section with wall-to-wall people. That is an issue to alleviate.

    [​IMG]
    See Link for bigger image.

    I talk about this to show that on that end the street is so close that there is no expansion on that side. However, there could be inventive uses of adding a mini concourse route for the 200 level seats I've heard banded about.

    There are more things they can do to improve the game experience than get more people that is important now. I think a five, ten year plan is needed to assess whether they should increase seating.
    asitis and Unak78 repped this.
  4. tomásbernal

    tomásbernal Member

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    Nice analysis. I hadn't heard of the possible "mini concourse".


  5. Kejsare

    Kejsare Member

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    Clearly hypothetical and nothing I've seen from any serious sources. I've heard they did something like it at Fenway.

    At best I think it involves having a concourse at the top of the 200 level seating.
  6. Scoey

    Scoey Member

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    The only two immediate, apparent options for increasing seating are (1) untarping more existing seats; (2) retooling the South End. Untarping has been ably addressed by Kejsare. I think a South End redesign is inevitable, provided demand for tickets stays solid for the next few years. It looks to my untrained eye that you could put a fairly steep stand in there and add a few thousand seats without blocking the Mac club view.
  7. USNatsfan Yesiam

    USNatsfan Yesiam Member

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    Fenway Park is an interesting comparison because, as difficult as Jeld-Wen's location is, Fenway's is much, much worse. They've managed to create some very high demand seats on top of the Green Monster, basically cantilevered out over a tiny strip of sidewalk between the park and Landsdowne Street.

    [​IMG]

    By comparison, Jeld-Wen has several nooks and crannies (each corner, for example) that are both underutilized and far more easily amenable to new construction, or even temporary seating.

    The Timbers and Red Socks both have excessive demand for tickets, which will continue to drive creative ways to expand seating capacity and fanbase. From Merritt Paulson's perspective, this must be a fantastic problem to have at the start of year #2.
  8. IgotWood

    IgotWood New Member

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    my question is, are the fans that are watching from the MAC, are they counted as part of the official attendance? I imagine they don't even have tickets right? or am I wrong? looks like they hold at least a couple hundred up there. [​IMG]
  9. IgotWood

    IgotWood New Member

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    also, as far as expanding jeld wen field. the south side is obviously where you'd have to start even if it with something very basic. when they remodeled the east side, I always thought that it looked a little small compared to the rest of the stadium and i wish they would have gone a little bigger but too late now, Anyway, I don't know if its a possibility, but i thought that it might be possible to build up seats on either side of the scoreboard. (as opposed to moving the scoreboard) below I posted a photoshop image of what I had in mind. obviously those sitting at the top of these sections wouldn't have much of a view of the score board but maybe its worth it to some. Also, if you reduced the size of the of the sponsors on both sides of the scoreboard, it would allow for even more room. a project like this would allow for 3,000 or so more seats and allow for the possibility to build restrooms below the seats. but any kind of remodeling won't happen for at least another 5 years I'm guessing...
    [​IMG]
  10. PDXMike

    PDXMike Member

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    Last I heard those seats were not counted for attendance, as they aren't part of the stadium. I believe I heard that MAC club does sells those seats for each match, but only to MAC club members.
  11. PDXMike

    PDXMike Member

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    I think a better option would be to move the score board to the southeast corner (on top of the providence clinic) and fill in the south deck.
  12. Kejsare

    Kejsare Member

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    The problem with the stands wrapping to the sides of the scoreboard is that the scoreboard is recessed a bit and may cause sight line issues. The solution may be to move it above the clinic but that causes a lot of people to crane their necks. But that is often the solution to a lot of the European stadiums.

    BTW, they do charge for those MAC tickets, but interestingly they only started charging last year when MLS came to town. Also note that they've enclosed the landing on the right. It will have bay doors to open up but now has a roof structure.
  13. tomásbernal

    tomásbernal Member

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    I agree that moving the scoreboard to the med center would be the reasonable, and likely, thing to do in order to put in more seating as shown in the photoshopped picture. I don't think it really matters much if some people can't see the screen without turning away from the field--at the end of the day having 3000 more people there would far outweigh the minor inconvenience. The stadium would look and feel so much more complete and connected if there was a much larger stand on the south end. The way they built it was pretty disappointing to me once I saw it. I was surprised that they didn't decide to go bigger, even though I understand the official line as to why--which is that the MAC required there be a clear view from there and that they need to be able to bring in the ambulance back there. I think that there must be a creative way to make it work, but I also think that it probably won't happen for several years.
  14. PDXMike

    PDXMike Member

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    Due to the fact that they can't build right up against the MAC club and that the stage curves in the SW corner, I doubt they could get 3000 seats down there. More likely 1500-2000 but every bit helps. An idea I had was to build box seat around the underside of the old roof, kind of like the way the press box is now. Then remove the boxes out of the NW corner and add seating back in. Along with doing that they should add staircases that go to the gates on the west side that they can raise and lower in the west concourse. They could lower them around the 85th minute and people would be able to exit out the gates on the west side.
  15. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    this might work but i't doesn't seem like they could add enough, and boxes on the end are not ideal, they could expand around the existing press box, but that would obviously not be enough, what about field level boxes like they have at cowboys stadium, and are going to have at the new SJ stadium, it looks like they have enough room on the west side (correct me if i'm wrong), how many seats would it add if you took those luxury boxes out, even adding more corporate boxes would be good, they bring in a lot of money and i don't think they will take out the existing ones. I think building around the scoreboard and adding 2500 seats would be best. maybe they can add a small score board hanging from the roof on the north end.
  16. PDXMike

    PDXMike Member

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    My idea is for the whole underside of the old roof, so the whole west side around the curve and over the north end. There might be enough room on the west side to add field level boxes also. There is already a small score board in the north end it just doesn't have video on it. I think if they removed the boxes from the NW corner it would add back in over 3000 seats.
  17. Kejsare

    Kejsare Member

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    If you do put back in the seats and remove the suites then you'll lose that big open space inside the gates in the NW corner. The slope of the stands will fill in that area and no more display for the Jantzen Beach swimwear diver.
  18. Scoey

    Scoey Member

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    In marginally related news, the Timbers have announced that the entire season is effectively sold out (only obstructed view seats remain...expect those to sell out, too). I hope they figure out a way to add more seats to accommodate demand in the next few years, otherwise we'll begin to see ticket price hikes.

    Is it pure folly to talk about putting terraces in the north and south end?
  19. Cethe

    Cethe Member

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  20. Kejsare

    Kejsare Member

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    The most recent Talk Timbers podcast has Merritt Paulson where he mentions a big plan they may act on in the next five years mostly focuses on improving the concourse. He says the improvements may decrease capacity. They're on top of looking at solutions. Merritt is more focused on improving fan experience rather than just adding seats alone.

    http://www.portlandtimbers.com/timbers-podcast-network
  21. Goforthekill

    Goforthekill Member

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    First of all. congratulations Seattle, not only were you the first MLS team to bring 60,000+ to a game, you could be the first one with multiple games in the same season of over 60,000+. Second, good idea to get the concourse thing out of the way, that way you can get that over with and think about expanding the stadium.
  22. Scoey

    Scoey Member

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    This concerns me somewhat. If they decrease capacity, prices will go up to compensate, potentially pricing out passionate fans as so so many other sports teams (I'm looking at your NBA and NHL). I appreciate that fan experience seems to be a genuinely high priority, but part of what makes the fan experience great is a stadium full of passionate fans. If prices go up because supply goes down, that aspect of the overall fan experience will be compromised.

    I'm not going to fret too much -- Merritt has pulled all the right strings so far and I trust he will going forward. But I would be pretty bummed at first blush if we reduce capacity.
  23. Melbourne Heart

    Melbourne Heart Member

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    If the timbers were able to expand to around 25,000 (hypothetically) and this was the max they could do. If Portland kept selling out would they build a new stadium somewhere else?
  24. Kejsare

    Kejsare Member

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    Not for another 20+ years.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2009/07/31_million_pge_park_renovation.html

    And I would surmise that any new place would have to be paid by the Timbers in full with no or little help from the City. This did not happen with Portland's newest stadium, the Rose Garden, built in 1995. Allen was able to bully the city. Yet, the ticket tax fund may be some help as with the recent renovation.
  25. NC Soccer United

    NC Soccer United BigSoccer Yellow Card

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    No way in hell would they move and build a new stadium elsehwere. That is a fantastic venue and quite intimate. This is a pretty good deal for Portland with the current setup and this allows them a lot of flexibility to grow their brand (like they need any help).
    Unak78 repped this.

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