As the Portland Timbers' April 14 home opener approaches, City of Portland records show the renovation of PGE Park from a multi-purpose stadium to a Major League Soccer facility is on time but about $5 million over the project's $31 million budget. (The original development agreement calls for the city to contribute $11.9 million to the project and Timbers owner Merritt Paulson to contribute $19.3 million.)

Per the city's contract with Paulson, the city will absorb $1 million of the cost over-runs. But that pain is deferred, says Dave Logsdon, the city's spectator facilities manager, because the City will make its contribution by foregoing certain payments due from Paulson more than two decades into the future.

The good news for current taxpayers and Timbers fans is that Paulson absorbs the balance of the over-runs and is spending that $4 million or so on various "fan amenities" including a bigger "Club Space" build-out, more portable concession carts, more aisles and various design features.

Logsdon says he would have of course preferred the project to come in under budget. But he also says the final cost is well within the expected range of estimates gathered during in planning stages. "We're not terribly surprised," says Logsdon.

Here is the city's breakdown of where the extra $5 million is going:

PGE Park MLS Renovation - Summary of Cost Increases

February 2011


Additional new fan amenities and building improvements – Club Space build out;  upgrades to existing suites; additional down aisles in existing bowl;  new office space for additional staff, increased square footage for team store. [$3.1 million]


Additional new concession equipment – includes additional portable concession carts and club small wares. [$198,000]


2% for Art – due to confusion over how the art obligation would be budgeted, this item was omitted from the original budget. [$164,000]


Design feature enhancement at 18th Ave – Glass panels with images honoring Tanner Creek, the neighborhood and the history of the Park added to exterior of restroom and concessions buildings along SW 18th Avenue; wood slating added to the underside of the new roof canopy; board formed concrete required for new restroom and concessions buildings along SW18th Avenue; iron gates and fencing added to accommodate addition of public plazas to SW 18th Avenue frontage. [$877,000]


Unforeseen required changes – major redesign of building electrical feed system; modifications to structural design and construction methods to ensure Tanner Creek Pipe is protected. [$800,000]