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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 7, 2011 9:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was And when you smile for the camera. The next post in this blog is Ding dong! It's for the children.. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Nonsurprise of the Year

Peter Apanel -- the guy who was most tenaciously opposed to the re-renovation of Portland's civic stadium for soccer only -- has taken in a Timbers match at the newly configured field, and guess what. He wasn't impressed:

I finally made it to a Timbers match tonight, mainly so I could see firsthand how all of those negative findings based on the MLS Guide matched up with reality. And there were no surprises.

I sat at mid-field in the bench-style seating section of the main grandstand.

Before the match started, I asked an usher why there were so many seats covered up, and he replied, "They're trying not to overcrowd the stadium. I know they're losing a lot of money by doing that."

With all of those bench-style seats measuring only 18" wide, people did not fit unless there were no-shows in their row. The lack of adequate leg room made things very uncomfortable, and it was difficult for people to move around.

The concourse was a complete zoo at halftime. It took me 12 minutes, being very aggressive all the way, in order to walk from my seating section to the Team Store at the northeast end of the stadium, a distance of about 600 feet. And at most of the restrooms and concession stands along the way the lines were ridiculously long.

At one point, there was a middle-aged couple walking behind me, and the woman said, "This is crazy, how f--ked up this is."

So, how long will it be before the media and Paulson can no longer cover up all of these problems? And how long will the non-diehard fans put up with all of this?

And if they're going to cover up 4,500 seats because the stadium's spectator facilities are inadequate, why didn't they simply widen the space allocated for each of those bench-style seats instead, which is something they could have easily done?

The other thing that really bothered me as I sat there is that it would have been so easy to come up with a renovation plan that would have made it possible to continue playing baseball there, and still create seating along the east end of the stadium for soccer.

Ah well, Peter. What's done is done. Go by streetcar.

Comments (27) would have been so easy to come up with a renovation plan that would have made it possible to continue playing baseball there, and still create seating along the east end of the stadium for soccer.

Yup. Shameful.

If you prefix everything this town does anymore with the notion of "stupid" or "wasteful", everything is a nonsurprise.

Don't like the games or the stadium? Then stay home.

Just look at the long line of people whom are willing to wait in the cold rain for hours before the gates open. Those are TRUE fans.

These are not overpriced Blazer games where everyone needs to feel constantly pampered..and DUH! You're choosing to go get food knowing that everyone else is leaving at the same time. Whynot whine some more about the crowded trains after/before the game.

Just stay home! More room for dedicated fans, not whiners!

Everyone I know had a wonderful time at the game, and the atmosphere is a billion times more fun than the extremely overpriced failblazer games.

I went to the same game, sat in the same area, and walked away pleased and looking forward to more games. Is the concourse crowded at halftime; yes. Are the bathroom lines long at halftime; yes. Plan accordingly, enjoy the game (if you choose to go) and stop looking for a reason to complain.

Could you leave some room for cream? Thanks.

It could be worse for taxpayers. What if nobody bought tickets, like after it was renovated into PGE Park?

shorter version: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

A crowded stadium full of dedicated, loyal fans. These fans are having the time of their lives, filling the stadium match after match. The crowd is singing together and cheering their team on rain or shine. The team itself goes out of its way to thank its fans for that support. In league play so far this year the team has not lost a game at Jeld Wen field. The atmosphere is quickly becoming legendary among national and international soccer fans and players. What a nightmare!! Please make it stop!! This is a shot in the arm Portland has needed for years. The bars and cafes around the stadium are packed before and after the matches. Ask them if they agree that their establishments are too crowded. Or ask any true fan at the game. All I see around me are smiles. And I don't know how narrow the seats are - I haven't yet sat down at any game. RCTID. Go Timbers!

So, the bathrooms are crowded and the beer lines are long at halftime, and that's the complaint? Do what I do - go at minute 43. There isn't even a line.

Seriously, how is that different from any big sports stadium in the world? That accurately describes blazer games too, are we up in arms about that? It must take a lot of energy to be so negative about everything.

"made it possible to continue playing baseball there"

Why would Paulsen give CoP an option to use Jeld-Wen besides the Timbers? Especially since he's the only paying tenant for all of 20 games a year. Now Paulsen can jerk Randy around for whatever he wants with the threat of no Timbers and pissed off fans who won't like Randy.

It's not saying much, but Paulsen is light years smarter than Randy. I guess I should be happy we only got took for $11M so far instead of the $35M Glickman and Gardiner stuck us with - thank you Vera.

"Please make it stop!!"

Just waiting for Paulsen to pay back the $111M we fronted him now.

"Then stay home."

Sorry, meant $11M. I'd love to stay home if I can get our money back.

I hate soccer like most God fearing Americans, but the seating at the old stadium was absolutely atrocious and quite possibly the most uncomfortable seats I have ever been in. There's no way these are worse unless they are the same seats.

The author of this sounds whiny and has an agenda.

Let's attack soccer and the Timbers for what it really is: flopping around and faking injuries and usurping proper public process in making a fairly large decision.

charlie malcontent:

Jeld-Wen field ain't no Wrigley Field or Fenway Park so let's no exaggerate. The Timbers are ephemeral. In fact, when the Single A Rockies came to town in the mid 90s, the stadium was sold out too. Let's not project too much from this.

Just stay home! More room for dedicated fans, not whiners!

[begin irony]
Your entire comment was repeated whining about people who don't think like you. Don't like their opinion? Then just stop commenting! More room for other people, not whiners like you!
[end irony]

The Timbers are ephemeral. In fact, when the Single A Rockies came to town in the mid 90s, the stadium was sold out too. Let's not project too much from this.

The truest thing said so far.

Sounds like trolls come on here every now and then and whine about our blogging. Just be happy you got your stadium instead of being eagle eyed and carrying on about those on this blog who know how this deal came down and still aren't fine with it.

Many here are watchdogs on the financial picture of this city which isn't good and also the shabby process with which the city operates. There is a larger picture here, the stadium is a part of it.

Just enjoy your sports and leave us be with our critical analysis. Many are trying to have our city be accountable and livable. Did you see the long term debt meter on the left side of this blog?

My main point has been, and always will be, that Paulson, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, and Portland's elected officials hid information about MLS stadium guidelines from the public during the so-called public review process, at a time when there were many options on the table, including whether or not to approve the soccer deal at all.

That's fraud.

Too bad you didn't like the experience, but thanks for the money anyway, toilet fetishist.

You know, Sigma makes a good point. I've been reading Peter's comments about the inadequate stadium with some amusement over the last year, but my experience at Blazers games has actually been worse that my one Timbers game (so far). You cannot leave your seat at halftime at the Rose Garden and expect to both get food and use the facilities before the 2nd half starts. And if you want to also get a decent beer, you're at the 8 minute mark of the 3rd quarter.

Paulson, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, and Portland's elected officials hid information about MLS stadium guidelines from the public during the so-called public review process, at a time when there were many options on the table, including whether or not to approve the soccer deal at all.

That's fraud.

That's true. This deal really stank from the get-go. And we traded 72 or so home games for what, 15 of them?

As for remarks that it's more crowded during these soccer games, keep in mind that there are far more baseball games per season and therefore less urgency to get to any given game. There'll be 70 more or so.

Bob Tiernan
NE Portland

I also was at Friday's game, my first Timbers game and coming from a fairly skeptical point of view of stadium projects. A few thoughts:

- I sat on the east side of the stadium, and thought it was great. Uncrowded, plenty of room, and of course, covered by the roof. You'd never see me in the old section, because the rows are so shallow that sitting is downright uncomfortable.

- I am also surprised to see the lack of improvements on the older sections of the stadium. But as long as he's still selling the joint out, why make improvements to the older sections?

- What really struck me was after the game, when bars and restaurants for blocks around the place were packed. This is what happens when you dump 18,000 people in a neighborhood on a Friday night. It's payday for the businesses around there, which, theoretically, should give stagnant property owners pause about whether to reinvest in their properties. (This is also exactly why a stadium wouldn't have worked in Lents... no nearby businesses for people to go to, and not enough of a crowd to justify a new investment.)

Overall, I was impressed. I'd like to see the older part of the stadium renovated to the standard of the east side, but it's early yet.

In response to Nick Christensen's comment about wanting to see the older part of the stadium eventually renovated to the standard of the east side, the reality is that there's no way to do that. And that's what Paulson, Adams, Leonard, and the others, hid from the public.

There's simply no room to expand the concourse; no feasible way in which to re-align the seating in order to create an adequate amount of leg room; and no room to increase the number of restrooms to meet modern minimum standards.

All of this information should have been hashed out during public hearings. That's what makes the deal fraudulent, whether or not soccer fans are happy.

Peter Apanel,
What is the status of your case as I recall on this matter?

You've got to love it when the 'Timbers Army' feels the need to astroturf any blog that dares to say something unfavorable about MLS Soccer in Portland.

I especially love the apologists that say to plan around the lack of facilities available in a stadium that just had millions of dollars thrown at it in renovation. The last piece of heavy equipment is mere weeks from leaving, and it's already unsuited for it's "purpose-specific" use.

Good job.

In response to Clinamen's question about the status of the securities fraud complaint that I filed with the State of Oregon in December, in connection with the future sale of municipal bonds to pay for the renovation of PGE Park, state investigators continue to stonewall the situation.

Officially, they've closed the case, but the reasons that four different officials at the DFCS and DCBS have given in writing in support of their decision to close the case are completely false; misstating both the law and the facts. So, that's what I'm following up on at the moment.

I think it's fair to discount entirely the comments from Timbers Army trolls. The TA, while enthusiastic and dedicated, is a small minority of Timbers fans and of those who attend games. The future success of this team is going to be more dependent on the woman Peter's original comments mentioned - will she come back? There are hundreds of tickets available for any game on the ticket-reselling sites. As with the Blazers a "sell-out" means something different then the actual words indicate. With MLS TV ratings among the lowest of any sport, the Timbers future may ultimately be scuttled by a lack of interest outside Portland.

I think it's fair to discount entirely the comments from Timbers Army trolls. The TA, while enthusiastic and dedicated, is a small minority of Timbers fans and of those who attend games.

There are roughly 11,000 people in the stadium wearing Timbers Army scarves. How does that constitute a minority?

There are hundreds of tickets available for any game on the ticket-reselling sites.

So scalpers bought a lot of tickets and sell them for 3x the face value. That tells me soccer is a good business for them.

With MLS TV ratings among the lowest of any sport, the Timbers future may ultimately be scuttled by a lack of interest outside Portland.

Doubtful. The MLS business model isn't built around TV dollars.

You do realize all these arguments as to why MLS won't last have been used since the league was established and after 15 years they still haven't proven to be true...but go ahead and keep using them.

Also reading Peter's myriad excuses as to why absolutely nobody agrees with him is highly entertaining. I'm waiting for him to accuse the Obama administration of stonewalling the investigation.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
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