The Portland Timbers’ Providence Park home re-opened on Saturday night after a $100m (€88m) facelift modernized the century-old facility. The Timbers returned to the venue for Saturday’s match against LAFC, after a 12-week road trip as renovations were completed. The stadium is also the home to the Timbers’ sister club the Thorns who compete in the NWSL.
The stadium will now have 19 additional dining options and 4,100 additional seats, bringing the capacity to 22,000. Other renovations include new locker rooms, enhanced video boards and an updated sound system. The seating area is now covered by a new roof.
“You can debate whether or not all the investment was necessarily warranted, and I guess time will tell,” Portland Timbers and Thorns owner Merritt Paulson told Yahoo Sports. “If you told me when we started it this was going to be $100m project just at the stadium, I’m not sure it would’ve been green-lit, to be candid. But in retrospect I’m just so pleased with how everything has come out.
He added that investments in the facility would be matched by spending on players.
“When we were in the Cup last year, I felt that we were maybe a player short and that it’s not a position where I want it to be,” Paulson said. “I wouldn’t make massive investments in infrastructure without simultaneously making corresponding investments on the pitch. That doesn’t make any sense.”
The Timbers boast a wait list of 13,000 fans for season memberships and each incarnation of the club, which first began professional play in 1975, has called Providence Park home.