My girlfriend and I moved to Portland recently from New Jersey and we couldn’t wait to get to a soccer game. The family that hosted us when we first arrived were huge Portland Timbers fans and, on day 1, we mentioned that we were definitely interested in heading to a game with the husband and his son. Well he was not going to forget that; two months later, I received a message that 4 tickets had indeed been purchased on the opening day for ticket sales. My girlfriend and I were stoked!
When match day came along, the question of transportation arose. This is Portland. So that means you have several options that can be categorized into three categories: 1) Personal vehicular transportation, 2) public means of transportation, or 3) other.
1) You don’t want to drive. You’re talking about having to pay and feed the meter and that’s if you’re lucky enough to even find a parking space that doesn’t involve you walking half a mile to your car. Plus..don’t you want a couple beers? Let’s keep our roads safe after game day!
2) Portland is known for its incredible public transit system and on game day, it’s even better. TriMet knows where you want to be on game day and they offer extra service for their MAX shuttle lines to the stadium as well as express bus service from certain parts of the city, again, directly to the stadium. Purchase a ticket (cheap!) and hop on a bus or the shuttle, and you’re there! Who needs the stress of city driving?
3) Other: Walk (from your hotel or from a bus stop further away from the Park), bike, skateboard, longboard, roller blade, or even unicycle (Did I mention this is Portland?) to Providence Park. There are tons of constructed bike racks for use on game day so you have that covered. As for your boards or blades, you probably can’t bring those in the stadium so those are probably poor options!
My girlfriend and I opted to take a bus into downtown and then walked a few blocks to Providence Park. We live about 3 miles away and it took us about 25 minutes to get there. Not bad timing at all.
Our tickets were for the Timbers Army section and we thought this was going to be just like when we went to college football games and sat in the student section. It was ten times better! The TA is an incredible section that takes up at least a third of the stadium and can be heard from every seat. The chants are very spirited (may want to rethink this if you have children and don’t like them listening to curse words) and they are constantly going. Also, the TA is generally a stand until half-time and then stand until final whistle section so if standing for 30-45 minutes straight is not your thing, you won’t like this section.
The match was well-played. We ended up tying 0-0 and it was a rivalry game so the excitement was constant throughout the match.
Afterward, the streets and avenues surrounding the stadium (Which, did I mention, is built DOWN and not up!! SO cool!) are packed with people off to enjoy the rest of their night. There are tons of places to get a drink or some late night grub. I mean tons. Walk a block or 2 in any direction and you’re bound to see at least 5 places that you can choose from. Providence Park is very well-situated in upper downtown. I 100% recommend you enjoying a game or event (doesn’t have to be Portland Timbers!)