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In a short span of time the Portland Timbers have grown into a prominent soccer club and set the standards for how an MLS stadium should look. Providence Park, home to the Portland Timbers was formerly known as PGE Park, Civic Stadium, and Jeld-Wen Field; which housed minor league baseball and college and semi pro football. In 2009, the City of Portland was at a crossroads of what the next major landmark and attraction would bring; A new baseball field? Possibly a casino? Thankfully Merit Paulson owner of the minor league baseball team at the time stepped in the mix and brought an MLS (Major League Soccer) franchise to The Rose City.
The stadium was first used for Major League Soccer for The Portland Timbers on April 14, 2011. Now, the stadium is referred to as the House of Pane and has recently become home for Portland’s new NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) The Portland Thorns.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The Timbers take note from the Trail Blazers organization and offers reserved seating with free food perks. The Key Club can be a nice contrast to The Timbers Army sections. While sitting in the Key Bank section you have your free choice of sodas and waters to grab throughout the game. Friendly staff also comes around with fudgesicles, ice cream sandwiches and even red rope. Before the game a special menu is offered for The Key Club.
Beer prices range from $5-$9. Popcorn, fries and candy are also available. Bacon Cheddar smoked sausage or the Timber Brat seem to be the fan favorites. The Timber Brat is wrapped in bacon and served on a pretzel dog bun with Widmer beer-braised onions.
The stadium overall is laid out nicely. Unless you're sitting fairly close you will most likely be covered from the occasional down pour provided by the beautiful Northwest. Be sure to check the details of your ticket as some seats have obstructing views. The Timbers have a main pro shop with lots of choices from key rings to official jerseys and about two other mini shops to grab some gear from. .About two thousand seats were added for the 2012 season, bringing capacity up to 20,438 and recently the field was widened for more room for the players. The Timbers fans sit about 10 feet away from the field creating a loud atmosphere for the players.
After each goal is scored the mascot for the Timbers, known as Timber Joey cuts a slab from a log. These slabs are then presented to the scorer for each goal. This is done in front of section 107, the heart of The Timbers Army.
I would try to get seats in the Timbers Army. If you're unable to, the next best seats are Row M located in the Key Bank Club section. Another great spot is behind the goalie opposite of The Timbers Army section. These seats are situated differently than the rest of the stadium; the seats are ground level with the players and can give a fan a great view of the passing lanes of the players on the field.
Downtown Portland has all kinds of restaurants, bars and shopping centers. Stop by the world-renown Voo-Doo Doughnuts and grab a maple bacon or Captain Crunch bar. Grab a slice from Pizzacato, the best pizza in Portland, hands down. The Cheerful Bullpen is the before and after spot for Timbers home and away games. The Bullpen is located within minutes of Jeld-Wen. Portland is famously known for their food carts so don't be shy, they can be the best place for a pre game meal.
Pioneer Square located about 5 minutes from Jeld-Wen is a hot spot for local and national shopping. I suggest checking out Compound and Upper Playground, these boutique stores are popular shopping places in Portland and also provide a decent amount of art.
The fans throughout Jeld-Wen Stadium are flat out what makes the home of the Portland Timbers such a special place. Specific fans known as the Timbers Army are known for their loud atmosphere and crazy chants. Rain or shine, winning or losing, the chants start right before the game and won't end until the game is done. Big drums are also played throughout the game to help lead chants along with hundreds of flags representing The Portland Timbers Futbol Club. White and green smoke bombs fill the section after goals are scored.
Out of all the stadiums I've been to, I have never seen such a big spot for bicycle parking. It seems like it's the popular way to get to the area and not take a car. Portland's bus and light rail (known as MAX) system is nicely integrated into stops at and near the stadium block. "Park and Rides" are littered throughout the City of Portland. With the option of the MAX, a fan is cutting costs on outrageous parking prices and gas used to and from the game. I wouldn't suggest trying to park near the stadium as it is located in downtown near other venues that require street parking. Remember to double check the meter signs as these meters run on different times and rules compared to others throughout the city.
For a stadium that resembles a euro style atmosphere, this is a stadium any sports fan should see. The Timbers have built a decent ball club but the real action is in the stands in the Timbers Army. Getting to be a part of such a loud and crazy environment is half the fun when attending a Timbers game.
Make sure to stay after the game as the slabs of wood that Timber Joey cut throughout the game are presented to the players that scored the goals. A slab is also cut for the goalie if a shutout was recorded for the other team. Make sure to get to the game as early as possible as the Timbers Army seating is on a first come first serve basis.
Television screens can be found throughout the hallways, no need to worry when grabbing food. Also many seating maps and layouts of the stadium are readily available to help find your seat quicker.
I thought I was being smart. I planned to arrive at JELD-WEN Field for the Portland Timbers-Seattle Sounders game about two hours early. I could get my place early in line, and be able to take a nice walk around the stadium before it was too crowded.
I was wrong.
I hopped off the MAX light rail, only to discover that there were approximately 5,000 Timber fans already waiting "" and singing...and yelling"¦and waving flags "" in a line that wrapped all the way around two sides of the large stadium.
That turned out to be a precursor for the amazing atmosphere that I would experience at JELD-WEN.
Food-Beverage: Expensive and just your average stadium fare.
Atmosphere: Best atmosphere in the US for soccer. Standing, singing chants, and camaraderie with your fellow fan. Love every minute of it.
Neighborhood: Lots of pubs/food in the neighborhood around the stadium. If you're a big time soccer fan, make sure you visit The Bitter End (corner of Burnside & 20th).
Fans: Loyal supporters pack Jeld-Wen every game. 18,627 of them. Most are on their feet all game. They are the reason for the 5 start atmosphere rating.
Access: Jeld-Wen is in downtown Portland. Parking is limited around the stadium and most locals travel by tram and/or bus. It's slow going on game day so get their early but be prepared for a late night. It will take you some time to get home.
Return on investment: Ticket prices are reasonable and very worth it.
The food is quite average, beer choices galore.
This is the best atmosphere for soccer. 16 sections designated just for the Timber's Army! Nothing better in the USA.
Portland has more breweries per capita than any other city in America. With this said many of those breweries have restaurants within walking distance from the stadium, plus at least 5 bars within sight from Jeld Wen FIeld.
With 16 sections designated for the supporter grounp I think there is enough said about the fans in this stadium.
Access is wonderful, the light rail, MAX, stops right next to the stadium. The stadium is in the center of downtown.
Overall to see the largest support group in the US in a sold out stadium is well worth the price.
First off, the Timbers Army alone is enough to blow away any other stadium. But even without the Army JW is a great stadium. Great location, I love how it is below ground level and good concourses. The food is great and fairly affordable. They even have gluten free hot dog buns. And I have to mention that not only do they have local beer, they have multiple choices, as well as a good variety of food (typical stadium food as well as BBQ ans asian fare.). I can't imagine a better stadium for MLS.
Jeld-Wen Field (formerly known as PGE Park) located in Portland, Ore. is the current home of the MLS Portland Timbers soccer franchise and the Portland State Vikings football team.
Previously a baseball park, a $31 million renovation in 2010 turned Jeld-Wen into one of coolest stadiums in MLS soccer. At around 22,000 max capacity, fan attendance is lively and nearly always a sell out. With the configuration of the stadium, fans are right on top of the action. One columnist even went as far as to say it was like watching soccer in a phone booth.
1730 SW Taylor St
Portland, OR 97205
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