We celebrated last March when Major League Soccer officially awarded a team to Portland for 2011. That was only the beginning, however, of a seemingly unending series of meetings and negotiations and City Hall votes. I learned a lot about how our city works during this process, and to paraphrase Otto von Bismarck, Portland City Council resolutions are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made. I know now that, despite what the extraordinarily loud and obnoxious (and often professional) naysayers and curmudgeons believe on faith; this was not a back room deal – every detail was debated and negotiated during an arduous democratic process. I also learned that fully one half the people who testify at City Council meetings are bat shit crazy.
Yesterday, another major milestone was completed, when the Portland City Council passed the funding and renovation plan to upgrade PGE Park for Major League Soccer.
But, of course, there’s still much more to do. Below is a tentative timeline leading up to 2011 (from an email to season ticket holders from the Timbers organization). I recommend you get your season tickets now, as come 2011 it will be very hard to find a seat (i.e. a place to stand)!
- Late March 2010 – Phase I of stadium construction completed
- Mid-April 2010 – Timbers USL-1 season kicks off at PGE Park
- June 2010 – 2011 MLS Season Seat Selection Package is delivered to all 2010 Timbers ticket packages holders and 2011 MLS depositors
- Mid-to-Late June 2010 – Selection process begins for 2010 Timbers ticket package holders
- Late June to Early July 2010 – Selection process begins for 2011 MLS depositors
- Late July 2010 – Open 2011 MLS season seat selection for general public
- September 2010 – Phase II of stadium construction begins
- Early March 2011 – Stadium construction complete
- March 2011 – Inaugural MLS match for Portland Timbers franchise
And don’t forget, today is Timbers Army First Thursday!