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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Never mind -- reader was drunk

A few hours ago, we posted a photo and report from a reader who was at last night's Timbers game. He reported that some seats that hadn't been covered in previous games this season were covered last night. But now he recants that observation, and this photo, if you look really carefully, seems to prove that the seats were covered in previous games as well.

It's an interesting question why those seats haven't been available for sale, but any statement that they had been occupied in the last few games seems to have been false.

Comments (18)


Well, that doesn't suprise me much. =)

Thanks for the clarification anyway though!

It has something to do with lack of toilets in the park and code requirements for such. This is something they will address after the season apparently.

But then look at it this way, when waiting in line for anything at a Timbers game you likely won't miss any action.

Over 4,500 seats (approximately 20% of the stadium's total post-renovation seating capacity) have been covered up for every match this season.

Prior to renovation, the stadium's official capacity for soccer was 19,566. The new grandstand added 3,780 seats. But the attendance figures for each so-called "sold out" match so far this season have been identical -- 18,627. So, they're counting seats, not actual turnstile attendance.

Those seats are being covered up for an obvious reason. There aren't enough restrooms and food stands, plus there isn't enough concourse space, to accommodate all those extra people.

And even with the the stadium's capacity artificially reduced, the main grandstand's spectator facilities for those actually in attendance still fall far below the standards contained in Major League Soccer's "Venue Design Guide," the document that city officials and soccer officials at first concealed -- and later misrepresented -- throughout the entire so-called public review process.

If this was designed with the okay of City Hall planners, inspectors and whatnot why couldn't they figure out that maybe they didn't have enough restrooms, etc?

The seats on the upper west side are probably covered because you can't see much of the field from up there, anyway (they have that catwalk and media rooms that hang off the roof). Part of the renovation of the stadium was relocating the field a few feet from where it was last year.

Those seats have been covered for years, since at least 2005, and until this year a "sellout" crowd was about 16,000. This was true for baseball too; the 2009 AAA all star game was sold out. The last time they rolled up the tarps was a timbers playoff game in I believe 2007; in the second half attendance swelled to north of 17,000. The place was total gridlock; it took me 45 minutes to get a beer. They learned their lesson and no one has sat up there since.

Have they added any bathrooms to the old part of the stadium since it was originally built in 1926. Anybody know?

In response to Evergreen Libertarian, all those city planners, etc., knew perfectly well that the stadium is substandard, and can't be upgraded, due to space limitations. But in city government, the job is the bribe, so they kept their mouths shut.

In response to Mike, there's nothing wrong with the view from the seats that are covered up.

In response to Sigma, the fact that those seats have had to be covered up for years is further proof that city officials and soccer officials have known all along that the plans presented to the public -- talking about how the stadium would be turned into a "world class" venue -- were fraudulent.

Peter Apanel: Regardless, the actual max capacity for PGE Park since Paulson bought the Timbers/Beavers has been 15,418, not 19,566, so the new construction did add 3,000 seats over previous capacity.

How do you define "World class?" That hardly seems to rise to the level of fraud. National commentators have been talking up the facility since it opened.

One more thing Peter, if they're capping paid attendance at 18,627 wouldn't it stand to reason that they'd have the exact same attendance number in every game this season? I've been to all five and there haven't been open seats.

That having been said, I think the Timbers do the same thing every other sports team does, which is count total tickets distributed rather than turnstyle numbers. That's why you see occasional Blazers "sell outs" with empty seats, some scalper bought tickets and wasn't able to sell them, or some season ticket holder couldn't make it to the game at the last mintue. Given how full the Timbers games have been there's no doubt that the Timbers are being honest about attendance so far.

Fraud charges regarding the stadium are ridiculous. Henry Paulson was involved with a Wall Street fraud that has been described as the biggest rip-off in the history of the world.
This is like getting upset at Fukushima for leaving a light bulb on.

Sorry to be cynical but It is quite easy to have a sell out every time.

Once the match starts all "unsold" tickets are donated to a charity at full face value and wallah... Jeldwen is sold out, every time. The Timbers reap a tax write off.

So what if the charity can't actually do anything useful with the donation.

I don't think donating unsold tix to charity is the key to a sell out... How about they have a strong demand thus far. That sounds more reasonable. Price of foil just went up...

Attendance numbers are usually padded, and that wasn't the point of the post. It was that the number of available seats seemed to have gone down, and still the attendance figure hadn't changed. But the whole thing was a mistake.

I have no doubt that the Timbers have sold a lot of tickets. And until the novelty wears off or the league collapses, they will continue to do so.

The figure of 19,566 was taken from PGE Park's official website, prior to the start of renovation.

Now, why would the owner of any sports franchise voluntarily cap attendance and leave seats unsold when the demand is there to sell out the entire stadium? There would have to be something very seriously wrong with the stadium's spectator facilities in order to justify that move.

In Paulson's case, those 4,500-plus unsold seats per match will add up to over 100,000 tickets for the season. And that translates into something like $2 million in ticket sales, not counting concession sales.

So, why didn't Paulson upgrade the spectator facilities in the main grandstand during the renovation process, so those 4,500-plus seats can actually be used?

The fraud involves the fact that city officials and soccer officials concealed critical information about stadium design guidelines in order to prevent a public review of all these factors.

If you're trying to say that sometimes the rich and powerful get breaks from our politicians, while ignoring input from the public, I think we can save you some time.

I went to a Timbers game last month, and it was great fun. I did notice the tarped-over seats and asked a few of the ushers why and was given the answer Peter explains...that the facilities (restrooms and exiting) don't support that capacity.

I had the privilege of being invited to the event by my long-time loan officer at Key Bank, and sat in Key Bank's "KeyBank Club" section. I had field passes and even got to shake the hand of Merritt himself (oh, the joy).

To me, it is very obvious what happened here. Key Bank paid a butt-load of money for their involvement ("sponsorship", of course). It gives Key a ton of exposure and their seats (of 1,150) are close to the field. They give out free hot dogs and pretzels, licorice and Cracker Jackss during the game, and you can even eat from their buffet (for $25). This brand-spanking new section was built in the former left outfield of the baseball diamond.

Those nose-bleed seats (now tarped-over) make for crappy corporate give-aways. Constructing the Key Bank section is great for Key Bank, but also rendered the field "soccer only". Given all the glad-handing going on, I'd also say that all of the seats in the Key Bank section are give-aways.

KeyBank's sponsorship is why baseball is no longer possible at Jeld-Wen field (corporate sponsors inside and out).

I felt kind of yucky being there...free tickets, hanging out with Merritt. Oh well, if Key hadn't dumped all the money there, Merritt would have sold the outfield to someone else, right?

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