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Portland city council OK’s stadium deal, clears way for 2011 MLS debut

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The final hurdle to bring Major League Soccer to Portland was cleared on Wednesday when the Portland City Council voted 4-1 to approve $31 million in funding to renovate PGE Park. The vote means the Portland expansion team can begin play in 2011 as planned.

Portland will join Vancouver as 2011 MLS expansion cities as the league expands to 18 teams.

What do you think of this news? Ready to order your Portland season tickets? Looking forward to that Portland-Seattle rivalry?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Typical puritan TA Koolaid drinker B.S. It’s funny how Seattle is always at the root of the problem when it comes to the Timbers. You forgot to mention “grass roots” in your mantra.

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  2. Couple of things. First, the Timbers have won the Commissioners’ Cup in USL twice, though have never won in the playoffs. Also, there’s a lot of talk about the Seattle ‘customers’, and the fans up north are trying to play that back on us – obviously we’re going to need more fans to fill the seats once MLS rolls around, but we’re not going to need a parade, a ticket holders’ alliance and a marching band to fill the seats. A lot of people in Portland already know about the Timbers, at least peripherally. Unlike the team up north, this isn’t a “newest” thing. This is a “bigger and better” thing.

    Soccer_Matt, the Timbers part II weren’t founded until 2001. Seattle’s USL team was founded in 1994, and the Whitecaps even before that. However, if MLS gave these cities clubs back in 1996, there’s no way of knowing if Seattle would be as successful as they are now, especially given the fact a lot has changed since MLS was founded. As a Timbers fan I’d say Portland probably would not have been as successful because we needed to grow our fan base from the bottom up to get to where we are now. Part of this is the fact MLS has grown with its clubs, and unfortunately the “second-generation” markets have tended to do better than the “first-generation” markets, as a very general rule of thumb.

    As for rumours, you’re always going to have NY2, St. Louis, MontrĂ©al, and a team from the southeast USA. I wouldn’t mind seeing Raleigh/Durham get a team, but that’s not as big a market as an Atlanta or Tampa or Miami.

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  3. What was the reason for MLS waiting so long for adding this recent wave of expansion teams? Everything I’ve read about for the last year or so has led me to believe that Portland, Vancouver, and Montreal will very likely be the teams with the most dedicated following.(And also spawn a great Northwest rivalry) Add the success of Seattle and Toronto and I can only question why teams like Dallas and San Jose were given teams first. Was the success of Seattle really that much of a shock that they shouldn’t have been a founding member or was there simply no ownership situation?
    Aside from Montreal, are there any other expansion rumors(obviously much further down the road) I think a team in Brooklyn, Queens or Long Island could do well?

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  4. i like how the portscum fans keep talking about all the bandwagon seattle fans. go suck a fat one, mornons. there’s nothing wrong with creating new footy fans…

    so, your average attendance right now is over 10K for the usl timbers (and good on ya for that)…so when you start to average 20-24K, you’ll have 10-14K of these new, non-hard-core bandwagon fans who just want to be part of the newest thing in your little logging town. or at least that’s how you should describe it, basing it on timber army logic.

    get over yourselves. last time i checked, sounders have won 4 league titles and a US Open cup. Portland? not one damn thing. except the self-appointed title of Soccer City USA…which is funny because more adults and children play rec soccer in the puget sound area than anywhere else in the country.

    can’t wait for 2011! this is gonna be fun.

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  5. Yes steve, I understood the joke. I might have even inserted a touch of sarcasm in my post.

    As for John’s comment, I will grant that the USL has gotten gradually better since MLS first robbed most of it’s talent back in 1996. We’re going to have to agree to disagree though, about it being watchable and competitive with MLS. I think the on-field USL product is awful, and there really isn’t any way for me to change your opinion (or vice versa) on this issue. As for being competitive, over a full season USL teams would fare poorly in MLS. In a one-off game, yes, USL teams can compete.

    In all honesty John, at some point in 2011, you’re going to have to buy me a beer at some bar in Portland after a Timbers/Sounders game, so we can really have at it each other the way that soccer supporters are supposed to – drunk.

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  6. you do know that the “timbers invented supporting” was a joke right? Who on earth, besides sounder fans, would believe that?

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  7. Portlander’s are the most modest, so much so they can’t help but talk about themselves as a group. Individuality is non existent in the Rose City. The place is like a Co-op. If you need a girl or boy for fun, you just do you friends girl or boy. It’s the same with Soccer. Soccer City USA- Portland invented the idea of Supporters groups. Forget about the Barra or anyone else.. Lewis and Clark founded the TA.

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  8. They are sharing PGE Park with Portland State Vikings football Div-1AA (or whatever they call it now).

    The Vikings only play 4 or 5 home dates a year. Won’t effect anything until Sept or Oct. They might be playing HS football late in the year after the Timbers season is over.

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  9. Coming from a Portland Timbers fan…
    Why the crap are you guys arguing over what the communities are like? Sure, Portland has it’s highs and lows. But why are we talking about meth? Every city has drugs and ghettos. Its all about the attendance and fans and rivalries.
    Portland is awesome cause it’s small and unique and has a huge passion for soccer.

    p.s. You guys should check out the small coffee shops in downtown P-town. đŸ™‚

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  10. The Timbers Army only invented supporting the Timbers. That’s all we’re good at.

    The USL isn’t /terrible/ soccer. Your average USL player might not be a first-choice player on an MLS team, but certainly given the skill and the pay level could easily be on a MLS team (as you can see with the fair few players on the team up north who have played in the USL). It’s definitely watchable, and can be competitive with a MLS team.

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  11. The Timbers set the USL record in games unbeaten last season and took home their second Commissioner’s Cup. In 2008 we were awful and almost the entire squad was turned over between ’08 and ’09. Hollywood United did convert two penalties in that game as well if I remember correctly. It was not a well-played game.

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  12. Let the TA feel like they invented the supporter group. I’m actually fine with that. Not that I’m a super-talented soccer player… but I hated watching USL soccer because I felt that the level of play was not that much higher than what I was capable of. Lots of guys I knew and/or grew up playing with/against were on the USL Sounders. Bad passes, no emphasis on individual skill, bad tactics. The USL was tough to watch.

    For that reason, I actually chose not to support the USL Sounders. If the TA was able to go watch and support that brand/style of soccer, then I will readily acknowledge that the TA is a much more hard-core supporter group than any I’ve ever been a part of (I’m not a member of ECS).

    Once SSFC came along and put some real talent on the field, the product improved dramatically and was worth watching and supporting. Perhaps I can’t make this judgment from the one game I saw Portland play last year (against SSFC), but the talent level for Portland was uninspiring.

    If the TA is as rabid as they claim, then I think we’ll see a dramatic upswing in their passion once the Timbers put a legitimate MLS-level product on the field. Maybe TA will show the world what it means to support a club.

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  13. It’s a publicly owned facility. It may not be the timbers FO’s first choice. It won’t hurt anything being played on turf (except a few ACLs). Just relax about the turf and the football. It will all work out swimmingly.

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  14. I live three hours from Portland and I’m looking forward to spending a few wekends in Portland with my family so I can catch some games. The Seattle-Portland games should be great but as a California transplant I’m looking forward to Portland-Galaxy games more. Seattle has realy embraced the MLS and I’m looking forward to Portland doing the same.

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  15. I realize many hate the turf, and that is a huge concern,

    but I love it, faster game.

    Away from that, it can be a soccer stadium and shared with gridiron friends.

    As long as it is shared, it is ok.

    QWest is still the best stadium in the world for both types of football, but it is used much more for assoc. football than gridiron football.

    That being said they ARE sharing it with a minor college football team.

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  16. I believe that Jealousy is one of the seven deadly sins.

    It is amazing how cocky some TA fans are, have they ever even had a crowd larger than 20k before ? They got 17k for the US Open Cup game, but 1/3-1/2 of them were desguised as Sounders fans.

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