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Monday, March 14, 2011

*Jeld-Wen Field* Pr0n And Cats That Live In Ballparks

Posted by Brian Gjurgevich on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Field.JPG

It smells of paint and plastic wrap, but the $31 million renovation at PGE Park Jeld-Wen Field is nearing completion as the Portland Timbers ready for their Major League soccer debut in Colorado on Saturday.

The team confirmed in a press conference on Monday that Klamath-Falls based window and door manufacturer Jeld-Wen purchased naming rights to the former PGE Park/Civic Stadium in a multi-year deal. And although Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said he couldn't "talk numbers" following the presser, he noted the Timbers/Jeld-Wen relationship will be "a long-term marriage" and that the Timbers' home will be called Jeld-Wen Field for the foreseeable future. The previous deal with PGE, Paulson noted, was a 10-year agreement.

The team won't make its MLS home debut until April 14 (it hosts Chivas USA in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game at U of Portland's Merlo Field at 7 p.m. on March 29), and construction will continue right up until the home opener. But according to Turner Construction project manager Greg Holloran, work is "down to the final strokes."

Holloran spoke Sunday to five sessions of season-ticket holders and community groups snagging a glance at the stadium and answered questions about everything from wood-paneling to media microphone-placement to the cat colony roaming the bowels of the ballpark. Don't worry: The cats only come out late at night.

More photos/tales of feline woe after the jump.

Beneath the plastic, a colony of cats plots its uprising.
  • Beneath the plastic, a colony of cats plots its uprising.

The newest incarnation of Multnomah Stadium has a big-league feel, or, at least, a bigger-league feel than it did when there was a batter's box in the south end.

The new grandstand looks quite sporting — the wood paneling on its sleek ceiling is a nice touch.

Yes, plastic wrap gently waves in the breeze, and there's construction equipment, cones and boxes of varying size strewn along the edge of the FieldTurf, but the action is 20 feet closer to seats since baseball dugouts were removed. There's also an all-new sports lighting system, which will no doubt be blinding as players enter the arena from beneath the deafening roar of the Timbers Army.

They'll stripe it as late as "early April" and the team won't practice on its home pitch until all construction is complete, so it's possible both teams will be taking their "first steps" on it when the Timbers host the Chicago Fire on April 14.

The scoreboard on the south end of the stadium.
  • The scoreboard on the south end of the stadium. Careful, you're being watched. ENHANCE.


Many of the seats are still under plastic as waterproofing and painting work continue. This sections cracks have been sealed with calk and are awaiting paint.
  • Many of the seats are still under plastic as waterproofing and painting continue. This section's cracks have either been sealed with calking and are awaiting paint ... or the Portland street-art scene has taken a rather utilitarian turn.

Members of the 107ist Timbers Army supporters snap pictures of their new digs as the newly re-branded corporate suites tower over them.
  • Members of the 107ist Timbers Army supporters snap pictures of their new digs as the newly re-branded corporate suites loom.


This rotunda will soon have a higher scarf-to-person ratio.
  • This rotunda, artfully photographed through temporary fencing, will soon have a higher scarf-to-person ratio.

Notice something missing from this sign? PGEs 10-year naming-rights deal is up, and by the looks of the signs marking each section of the stadium, they arent re-upping.
  • Notice something missing from this sign? Hint: A "PGE Park" logo was once featured prominently.

Its smiles all around as Timbers technical director Gavin Wilkinson chats with a TV reporter.
  • It's smiles all around as Timbers technical director Gavin Wilkinson chats with a TV reporter while fans wait to get a peek at renovations.


EXTRA TIME: A couple more links!
* The dream of the '90s (and soccer) is alive in Portland.
* Want to track the Timbers' buzz on twitter? (Just me?) Try this hashtag. Translation: Rose City 'Til I Die.
* Lots more stadium pr0n here.
* Solid interview with Timbers coach John Spencer.
* The Timbers are the latest chapter in a rich Rose-City soccer history.
* The Timbers' chances this year may depend on proven scorer Kenny Cooper.

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