PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In less than 24 hours, the Portland Timbers will play New York City Football Club for the MLS Cup.
The Timbers — and their thousands of fans — hope to win the cup for the first time since 2015. To make the final match even more special, the club has the opportunity to win it right here at home.
As soccer lovers from near and far make their way to Portland, businesses around the Rose City are gearing up for the inevitable influx of patrons.
Pioneer Courthouse Square, for example, is already displaying some of that Timbers spirit. The downtown destination currently has a 15-foot-tall replica of the MLS Cup trophy itself, perfect for picture-taking.
While the replica is sitting in Pioneer Courthouse Square, the real deal was delivered to Providence Park on Friday in a special procession to the stadium.
With all the excitement brewing, palpable energy is being felt in the neighborhoods surrounding Providence Park. Businesses close to the soccer stadium — such as Kells Irish Pub on Northwest 21st Avenue — are prepping to host Timbers fans ahead of Saturday’s match.
“This week has definitely been a scramble, because all of a sudden you have six days to plan a massive event, which could be a once in a lifetime sort of thing,” Kells Co-owner Garrett McAleese explained. “So everyone is jumping on this opportunity.”
Kells is opening extra early at 9 a.m. on Saturday. They’re getting ready to serve up all the breakfast cocktails like Irish coffee, mimosas and bloody marys for all the Timbers fans who will likely join them for a pre-game celebration. The brewery will also be tenting off their parking lot to try and accommodate as many people as possible.
In addition to the bustling bars, be prepared for Saturday’s game to cause some traffic disruptions.
In anticipation, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has designated pick-up and drop-off spots for rideshares and taxis. Those spots will be at Southwest Alder and 18th Avenue in front of Scrap PDX, along with Southwest 21st Avenue near Burnside, close to Levine’s Cleaners.
Some street parking will also be blocked out Saturday. It will be blocked north of the stadium along Southwest Morrison Street, west of the stadium along Southwest 20th Avenue from Salmon Street up to Morrison Street, and along Southwest Yamhill Avenue and Southwest 20th Place up to Burnside.
You will get towed if you’re parked along these streets on Saturday.
Because of all the potential traffic issues, PBOT urges fans to take public transportation. Three bus lines and the Blue and Red MAX lines will all take travelers to Providence Park.
If the Timbers win, there will be a large celebration on Monday around downtown and at Providence Park. Details about that celebration are forthcoming.