The Portland Timbers owners are planning to spend $50 million of their own money on a 4,000-seat expansion of their 21,000-seat stadium:
…and that’s it, really. In a normal world, this would be an everyday occurrence: Team decides it can make more money with a bigger stadium, team spends the money to build it as an investment, team (hopefully) comes out ahead. It’s how sports worked in the pre-subsidy days of the 19th and early 20th centuries, it’s largely how sports works in Europe, and it’s only worthy of note here because the North American sports business model has become so based on getting public money for these things. It’s like a little taste of a happier world where I could retire this website and write about something else. (Not that I don’t write about other things too, but you know.)
As for the expansion itself, it’ll be a little freaky looking, with a vertically stacked stand that is supposed to recall the Globe Theater somehow filling in the gap in a more traditional sweeping, curved grandstand. Which is also fine: Piecemeal, jury-rigged stadium designs are also common in international soccer (in part because of that practice of expanding them only when the money is there), and the result should end up resembling Buenos Aires’ Boca Juniors‘ La Bombanera. There’s really nothing at all to complain about here, so happy Friday!