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Expanded Capacity: What did you think?

20 September 2011 1,381 views 8 Comments

Last Friday the Timbers experimented for the first time this year expanding the seating capacity beyond 20,000.  Merritt Paulson said they were going to analyze the data, but that early reports were positive.

What was your anecdotal experience?

Here’s mine:  As part of the betting game, I timed my halftime bathroom wait.  I sit in the north end, at the top of 205, and I headed to the bathroom just after the PTFC chant ended at half time.  That’s probably the exact worst time in the stadium to head to the bathrooms, and since I’m at the very top, it’s a bit of a walk.   My wait time was 9:23 (see screen shot), but that might be a worst case scenario.  Most of the people in line around me were joking about the wait, and didn’t seem to mind too much.

On the positive side, I didn’t have a problem purchasing beer.  Section 205 was actually less full than normal (even though it had more people) because there was more room to spread out in.  I also saw less people standing in the aisles than I do at some matches.  Sometimes that is due to more enforcement of TA tickets when people enter the section, but it may have been due to extra capacity.

How was your experience with expanded capacity?

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Posted by Dan

8 Comments »

  • TheyCallMeNels said:

    I think the key was to use the beer man to buy drinks rather than waiting in line at the concession stands. I’m sure the ladies might have had a different experience but for me the bathroom lines were pretty average.

  • High Rant District said:

    The FO should have tested the extra capacity during the sweltering summer days. The north end gets quite hot (even in the 100-level) and up higher in the stands there is no where for the heat to go. Doing a test run during the hotter days would give a realistic look at what the restroom and concession lines would look like. People will need to leave their seats for some sort of re-hydration and a bit of a cool breeze in the concourse.

    It could be argued that more folks than not in the north end are less flush with cash than folks elsewhere in the stadium and would need to grab some free water at halftime. That would mean a need for more sinks and/or water fountains, and the lines for those would likely be quite long and slow.

    Until seeing what the extra capacity looks like on the hotter days, I’d forgo adding season ticket seats, but sell the extra capacity tickets as single-game seats for all matches outside of June, July and August. Perhaps give folks on the season ticket waiting list first dibs on those singles.

    Two cents.

  • Dan (author) said:

    @TheyCallMeNels, from what I saw, the women’s lines were shorter or non-existent.

    @High Rant District: the heat up at the top of the 200s is an issue even w/o extended capacity. I saw people recommending giant fans earlier in the year.

    I’ll send this link to Merritt Paulson on Twitter so hopefully he will read people’s experiences.

  • Matthew Speakman said:

    Overall, JW’s suitability to accommodate a full house is still better than many stadiums around the country I’ve attended for Footy as well as other events (concerts, NFL, Hockey, etc.), in my opinion.

    The FO attitude about lines for bathrooms and concessions in most other venues seems to be “Hey. That’s just the way it is. Put up or go home.”

    It’s great to think that the TFO is concerned about the experience and figuring out the best way to manage it.

    I say, open the seats. Sell out every spot in the place, and do whatever is necessary to make it work.

    Some of that is on us. If you gotta hit the lav, go early. Don’t wait for the half. You may miss a brilliant goal, but your bladder will thank you.

    Some of that is on the FO. Helpers out in the corridors guiding people, managing concession lines– more vendors in the stands? Etc.

    I think it can work, and I’d love to see max capacity at JW, every game.

  • CharonPDX said:

    I didn’t leave the stands at any point, so I can’t comment on the concourse action, but the action in the stands was good. I arrived late, and was pretty high up in the 200s of the North End. It was good to see the high reaches full!

  • Dave said:

    Only major difference I noticed was not necessarily a function of increased seating, but …

    Large scale seat grabbing and saving was definitely the worst I have seen over in 103. I was in 90 mins before kickoff ended up 3 rows from the top of the section. Not sure why this was the case, but noticeably worse…

    otherwise no complaints…

  • Angela S. said:

    To be honest I forgot that they were opening more seats, I did’nt notice any difference in the concourse or the restroom.

    I agree with Matthew, Open the seats and sell out!

    Let’s go Timbers!

  • USfan said:

    Who cares!
    It’s only soccer.

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