Tuesday, January 5, 2010

PGE Park Renovations + PICTURES

Hey guys,

I saw the Timbers posted some pictures and plans for the renovations of PGE Park.


What I like:

-Restaurant: While I enjoy an evening in 103, my Mom couldn't handle all the standing. So, the option of taking her to a game when she visits seems all that more enticing when you can take in the atmosphere from the comfort of a stadium restaurant. Here's hoping it features local beer and food, and doesn't try to replicate some English pub (though I LOVE Charleston's Three Lions Pub in Blackbaud Stadium- I've been there 3 times, and didn't make it out for the opening whistle on any of the visits).

-Sightlines to/from 18th Ave: I always liked seeing people watch the game from behind the fence. And catching a glimpse of the MAX gives the stadium a unique Portland feel.

-Family Areas: Designated family areas in the South and East ends is good for both families & hard-core fans. It's what most European teams do, and allows both groups to enjoy the game.

-Capacity: 20,000 is a solid number. BUT see below, for my main concern.

What I Don't Like:

-FieldTurf: Despite the new generation of fieldturf, I prefer grass - and always will. Even though we will still share the stadium with PSU's football team, I'd rather play on grass slightly torn up, than field turf all year round. I hate to see the ball just keep rolling and rolling across the end line.

-Capacity: only 20,000. It's a good number that provides an intimate atmosphere and sufficient capacity for fans. My main concern is price. Right now, I can easily afford $12 tickets to every game. Large numbers of cheap tickets allow fans like me to come to the stadium and contribute to the atmosphere. I hope that the Timbers emulate teams like Shalke FC (Germany), who ensure large numbers of cheap tickets for hardcore fans are available because they contribute to the atmosphere and are a major part of the club's heart and soul.

-Concert stage: Not sure how many concerts will happen at PGE. Could this be converted to temporary seating for big events (EPL teams, Sounders/Whitecaps games, playoffs)?

What do you guys think of the renderings and innovations?