Timbers break ground on MLS stadium

PORTLAND, Ore. — Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber joined Portland Timbers Owner/President Merritt Paulson, City of Portland officials and fans today to commemorate the official groundbreaking at PGE Park.

As the Timbers continue preparations for their inaugural MLS season in 2011, the group marked the substantial stadium renovation that, over the next six months, will transform the stadium into one of the most unique and authentic soccer environments in the country.

In the coming months, the stadium transformation will include the creation of a full seating bowl surrounding the field, a new club lounge, an expanded public entry plaza, a state-of-the-art video scoreboard, a new team store and new player locker rooms and training facilities.

Also today, the team launched a live video feature at the website www.PortlandMLS2011.com, allowing fans in-stadium video of the exciting changes as they happen. Additionally, a virtual venue feature at www.PortlandMLS2011.com offers fans the ability to simultaneously compare 360-degree, three-dimensional views from various seating sections and the opportunity to explore the many changes that will be in place at PGE Park for the 2011 MLS season. Monthly time-lapse photo pieces will be featured on the site as well, giving fans an exciting visual summary of the transformation in the months leading up to the team’s inaugural MLS season. The first of these monthly features will debut in October.  

Timbers MLS Stadium Renovation by the Numbers
613,514   Pounds of rebar
175,000   Hours worked on the project
172,316   Square feet of total space added or remodeled
96,000     Square feet of new playing surface
27,360     Linear feet of piles installed for foundations
20,122     Square feet of precast seating bowl
7,020       Cubic yards of excavation and fill
6,595       Cubic yards of concrete
2,722       Linear feet of handrail
810          Tons of structural steel
261          New field lighting bulbs
200          Peak manpower on project

About MLS Portland Timbers
On March 20, 2009, Major League Soccer (MLS) awarded Portland the league’s 18th franchise to begin play in the top-flight professional soccer league starting in 2011. The Portland Timbers will mark their debut MLS season in 2011 in a significantly renovated PGE Park that will create one of the most unique and authentic soccer environments in the country. New stadium amenities will include better sightlines closer to the action, new premium seating on the east side of the field, a new club lounge and a new entry plaza and team store. The Timbers have been a beloved part of the Portland sports landscape since their early beginnings in the North American Soccer League in 1975, launching the era of “Soccer City USA” in the Rose City.

About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. MLS kicked off its 15th season on March 25, 2010. MLS features 16 clubs, each playing 30 regular season matches in 2010. Those teams include Chicago Fire; Colorado Rapids; Chivas USA; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; Kansas City Wizards; Los Angeles Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; 2009 MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural season, Philadelphia Union.  Expansion teams in Vancouver and Portland will debut in 2011 and in Montreal in 2012. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official website at www.MLSsoccer.com.