If you're a season ticket holder, make sure to fill out and send in the season ticket holder survey. This is your opportunity to voice your criticisms or praises and have them heard by the front office rather than friends and random people on the internet. The survey doesn't allow for written comments; if you wish to make comments, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a recent e-mail conversation that might interest you. The effort put into the response really demonstrates how much this front office cares about the game day experience. (Note: "we" is my girlfriend and I, not Timbers supporters in general.)
E-mail to Timbers:
One great benefit of being a supporter of the Portland Timbers is the unique experience on game days. However, there are a couple of aspects of that experience that we think could benefit from change:
1) The music played around game time (mostly before 0:01) hinders the game-day experience in two ways: it prevents a unique experience and interferes with the Timbers Army.
-The music prevents a unique experience because the same style of game-time music can be heard at any major sporting event around the country. There are times when music would be appropriate inside the stadium, i.e. during intermission, when the Timbers Army is resting. At that point, it would be great to hear music that is unique to the Portland Timbers: a great idea would be playing Buzz Martin (Lumberjack who sang some very Timbers appropriate tunes), or local musicians. If music is a must, make it unique.
-The pre-game warm-up for the Timbers Army is crucial for synchronization of the TA and gaining stadium wide participation. Hearing music before the game makes it very difficult to follow the singing/chanting and ultimately prevents new fans from actively participating in the game-day experience.
2) Clearly, the Portland Timbers are aware of the following comment, but we think it merits discussion to highlight its importance to the season ticket holder: removal of the tarps is critical to the game-day experience, as the empty space prevents the feeling of being in a sold-out stadium. Hopefully, solutions for concessions, facilities, and foot traffic are coming in the near future.
3) The south deck prevents the stadium from feeling like a proper football venue. One acceptable solution (from the supporter's perspective) would be temporary/roll-away bleacher seating, extending up and behind the existing rows of seating.
4) We do not purchase food at games because of the pricing. We do not expect that to change and are content. However, we no longer purchase beer because of the selection. The 2010 selection of beer was outstanding for a minor league venue, and the 2011 selection is underwhelming (aside from Widmer X-114). We are aware of the relationship that MLS has with AB-InBev, however, the lack of selection is something to take in to account.
5) Last, the mobile vendors who walk up and down the aisles during the games often obstruct views (especially the cotton candy vendor). We have no suggestions for possible solutions.
Thank you for taking an interest in our game-day experience. Hopefully, these comments are helpful. We look forward to being season ticket holders with the Portland Timbers as long as we are living.
Response from Timbers:
I appreciate the feedback and we will continue to do everything we can to improve the gameday experience. The sound levels are something we are working on, the challenge is the sound volumes are affected by the architecture so in some areas it is too loud while at the same time not loud enough in others. We are trying to find the best option, but have worked with the Timbers Army to lower this levels for the final 30 minutes to ensure the atmosphere builds.
We are looking at our capacity options, the seats under the tarps have not been used because our facility, when it comes to concessions, bathrooms, concourses, egress has and is stressed with the current numbers. As you can imagine we would love to sell every seat, but not at the expense of our fan’s experience. We will experiment later this season at a game or two to see if we can increase our capacity and keep a comfortable experience.
When it comes to the south deck, we cannot build anything that will end up blocking the view of the scoreboard/signage and that can’t be raised because of the MAC club seating above it. We are looking at ways to maximize attendance in the area, and it is currently sold to large groups.
I have passed along your comments on concessions, there are numerous locations that offer a pretty good variety of options, I know that the “microbrews” are located closest to the TA.
The mobile vendors are a part of the plan to minimize the crush on the concession stands at halftime. The more food we can serve to supporters in their seats the fewer need to leave and get in line.
As you can see many of these decisions are balancing acts, and we are doing our best to find the right set up for every game, please feel free to send ideas and improvements my way as I know that our fans see many things that we don’t as they are the ones coming and taking in the experience game after game.
Thanks for all your support!