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Earl A. Chiles Center

Portland, OR

Home of the Portland Pilots



Earl A. Chiles Center (map it)
5000 North Willamette Boulevard
Portland, OR 97203

Portland Pilots website

Earl A. Chiles Center website

Year Opened: 1984

Capacity: 4,852

There are no tickets available at this time.


Local Information


As Good As It Gets...For Now

The Chiles Center, home of Pilot basketball and volleyball is tucked away in the heart of North Portland. It sits in between the University of Portland’s soccer and baseball stadiums: Merlo Field and Joe Etzel Field. The Center seats 4,852 and is covered by a 62 foot high dome with a diameter of 305 feet. Located about 25 minutes from PDX International Airport, the Chiles Center opened in 1984 and has played host to the WCC Tournament in 1992 and 2007. In 2010, the scoreboard and video system was added over center court. It contains four video displays, each measuring almost seven feet high by nine feet wide, and is complete with an up-to-date sound system. At the same time, the school also installed two new score clocks and two new three sided 24 second shot clocks.

The Chiles Center is considered one of the most modern athletic and convocation facilities on the West Coast. Unfortunately, the fans and the program don’t live up to the beautiful dome that’s measured over 2,000,000 cubic feet.


What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

The Chiles Center offers your average Pepsi products and popcorn throughout the game. Make sure to grab your concessions way before halftime as space is very limited in the hallways.

The main attraction is the food offered before the game. The Chiles Center does a great job of offering a variety of dinner options and providing wonderful service. Not only do you have your choice of Original Zenner's products, which has been established in Portland since the Roaring 20s and is known famously for their sausage; but the arena offers an all you can eat salad, choice of pasta, dinner roll and dessert. This dining experience is only $8.00 and quite tasty too. Optional beverage choices of soda, domestic beer and wine are available for an additional price. Be sure to take the stairs as the family dining atmosphere takes place on the second level of the arena on the track that circumferences the court.

Atmosphere    2

Overall the atmosphere just doesn't cut it compared to the many other Portland sports venues. The Chiles Center is, however, very family oriented and very clean. The staff is also very helpful, so don't hesitate to ask where your seats are located or address any other issue.

Many contests and halftime activities are offered to children and the student body. Don't be prepared to be too entertained with the Pilot cheerleaders and the slowly dwindling band. If the little ones get bored, you can usually find two inflatable play structures on the second level where the track sits. The play structures are supervised, so no need to worry about missing the game.

The best seats in the house are about 6 rows up, making you eye level with the basketball hoops of the Chiles Center. I recommend springing for the lower reserved as the bleachers can make it uncomfortable to sit the whole game. Make sure to finish your drink though as there are no cup holders for lower reserved or general admission.

Neighborhood    5

The Chiles Center is surrounded by historic North Portland, located on the corner of Willamette Boulevard and Portsmouth Street. This part of town has recently been revived and is doing well.

Within 10 minutes of campus there are many local restaurants a fan has to choose from. The McMenamins St. John's Pub and Theater is a great spot to order some cajun tots and to sample the local beers the pub has to offer. The Twilight Room, located on Lombard Street is also a popular spot before and after the game. Across the street from there you can treat yourself to excellent Mexican food at Cha! Cha! Cha's!

Bar scene isn't your thing? No worries, as the Historic Signal Town Pizza is a great family place to grab a slice. You can choose paid parking in one of the lots the University of Portland provides, but not to worry, the neighborhood provides ample free street parking that surrounds the arena.

Fans    1

The student section can be seen empty most games and makes you wonder if your local high school game might have been a little more exciting. Alumni and season ticket holders usually outnumber the student section in attendance.

The Pilots don't draw too big of a crowd due to their record and it does not go unnoticed when you see a plethora of empty purple seats staring back at you. During big rivalry games you will often see the visitor colors overshadow the Pilot's primary colors of purple and white.

Access    3

The Chiles Center is located in the northern part of Portland, about 15 minutes from the I-5 freeway and about 20 minutes from downtown Portland. The venue only has one main entrance, located on the south side of the building. The Box Office is located to the left of the entrance to the Chiles Center, while Will Call can be found at a nearby outside booth.

If you would like to take the scenic route, I recommend planning a trip down Willamette Boulevard also known as "The Bluff." This will lead through one of Portland's nicest neighborhoods and gives a great overlook of Swan Island. This has been considered a ritual for the diehard fans that never miss a game.

Return on Investment    2

The food that is offered is one huge positive. When comparing the price of a general admission ticket to any other sports venue in Portland, it is hard to see the bang for your buck until the program is able to produce more wins. For now, this is "as good as it gets" for the Chiles Center and fans both.

Extras    2

Throughout the game, sports apparel outfitted by Nike and dollar programs are sold outside the entrance to the gymnasium. If you get bored with the contest you can always hit the cushioned polyurethane recreational running track that circles the upper mezzanine.

The Pilot players also stay after every game to provide fans and children with posters and autographs, free of charge.

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Local Food & Drink

Twilight Room  (map it!)

5242 North Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 283-5091

Cha Cha Cha  (map it!)

5225 North Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 802-2262


McMenamins St. John's  (map it!)

8203 North Ivanhoe Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 283-8520


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