Portland Timbers stadium becomes Providence Park

JeldWenField (SBI)

BY MIKE DONOVAN

The Portland Timbers announced Monday that the club will enter a 15-year community partnership with Providence Health & Services which will include a rebranding of the former Jeld-Wen Field as Providence Park.

Providence has been involved as a founding partner with the Timbers since the club’s rise to MLS in 2011. The company is also the kit sponsor of the NWSL’s Portland Thorns FC.

‚ÄúThis partnership signifies a huge commitment to the community from the largest private employer in Oregon, which will keep Providence Park the name of our facility for years to come,” Paulson said.

While the club’s stadium naming rights deal with Jeld-Wen was originally a 12-year deal with an opt-out option after six years starting in 2011, Paulson said that the windows and doors company had let the club know they might want to look for a new stadium partner. Jeld-Wen will, however, remain a corporate partner of the Timbers.

“They made it clear that the time might be right to pass the baton potentially on the naming element,” Paulson said. “They still had several more years on their agreement, they were going to honor their agreement, but when it became that the opportunity would be there to pass that baton but they could stay involved, we moved in that direction.”

While Providence’s name is on both the stadium and the jerseys of the Thorns, Paulson made it clear that he is hopeful that Alaska Airlines will remain on the front of Timbers jerseys after their contract is up this season.

“Alaska is definitely the kit sponsor for 2014, I’m hopeful they will continue to be our kit sponsor afterwards. Their deal is up this year, so we are talking to them about a renewal there,” Paulson said.

In addition to the stadium naming rights, the agreement with Providence also includes the revival of the Oregon Special Olympics Fall Games in 2014.

Providence Park joins Toyota Stadium (FC Dallas) and the StubHub Center (LA Galaxy and Chivas USA) as MLS stadiums to change their names in the last year.

 

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24 Responses to Portland Timbers stadium becomes Providence Park

  1. TomG says:

    Who cares about the name. Put some dang grass in that place!

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Much like turf, this argument/gripe just never wears out does it?

      • Ian says:

        Wrong. The argument never wears out, but turf does.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          You know, Ian, Portland is home to hundreds of experienced tattoo parlors. You could stop simply whining about artificial turf and have your complaint inked across your neck. That way no one around you would ever be deprived of reading about it every day.

  2. NASL to el paso tx says:

    It doesn’t make sense, r they getting more money?. Timbers is a big history team and loveable team, sponsors should be raining on them :-) and even money heads trying to be part of the team ownership like what nycfc has and what becks is doing. If i was a millionaire, i would buy timbers a DP so they can eat up the sounders :-)

    • Micronesia Justin says:

      It’s a small market and MLS doesn’t generate enough in TV audience to demand a big $$ sponsor.

  3. Juan Villatoro says:

    Its a high school field thats all it is

    • Rory Miller says:

      No, it’s a modified baseball field, that’s why so many seats seem to tower above the field, you have people sitting above the outfield wall or whatever.

      • Kejsare says:

        It was not even built to hold baseball. So you’re both wrong. It was built to be an U shaped stadium but they ran out of funds to do that. It was built in 1926 and the first time baseball was played there was 1956.

    • Ian says:

      Speaking of high school, you might have missed a couple grammar and syntax lessons in English class.

  4. Rory Miller says:

    Really wish the league would have mandated that stadium names were set but could be sponsored so they would sound like how the broncos do their “invesco field at mile high” or whatever. Going to be hard to remember Toyota is in Dallas now, not Chicago

    • slowleftarm says:

      Why would the league make it harder to get companies to pay for naming rights?

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        To avoid the absurdities resulting from corporate vicissitudes, FCD’s stadium has no name, becomes Pizza Hut Park, Pizza Hut splits, the stadium has no underlying identity, people struggle with what to call the place, now it’s Toyota Stadium, which is not even unique within the league.

        Plus, it can get to where you can no longer tell where the place is. For a while I didn’t know “MetLife” is “Meadowlands.” The fan loses the ability to readily identify where a given stadium is from its name.

        In theory loyalty and stability fixes that, but for every “Reliant” there seems to be an “Enron,” for every “VW” on a jersey there is also a “Greenstar.”

        It is a money stream for teams but one can argue that preserving some level of team/ local identity protects the team and fan interests in not being the victims of sponsor overreach or bankruptcy. I don’t see how Invesco at Mile High is that bad, there is a sponsor arrangement but also a fundamental identity.

        • AcidBurn says:

          +1. I totally understand the revenue stream from naming rights, but wish that stadiums had a fixed name since they seem to change so fast. You don’t get classy “RFK Stadium”, now you get FedEx field.

          It’s no longer Camp Nou, but Estadio del Repsol.
          It’s no longer Old Trafford, it’s now bp Park.

          Doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it.

  5. wood chip zip says:

    I assume there is a lot of money involved to have the stadium named after Providence. So this is how a healthcare non-profit supposedly dedicated to the poor and vulnerable decides to spend its money. This is one of the reasons the cost of healthcare in this country continues to skyrocket.

    • Brian Hall says:

      +1

    • Darwin says:

      I’m getting sick of this. It’s one thing that the for-profit companies decide to flaunt their bloated profits, but this is a non-profit!

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      “This is one of the reasons the cost of healthcare in this country continues to skyrocket.”

      Terms of the agreement were not made public, so we’ll have to wildly speculate here…. Let’s assume that Providence will pay about the same as other MLS stadium sponsors: ~$2M per year for the naming rights. Yeah, that sounds like a lot of money.

      But Providence insures something like 400,000 people. So that’s…$5 per subscriber per year—not much compared to, for example, a $1000-$5000 CT scan; i.e., the type of expense that actually relates to the major costs of health care.

      Most companies (i.e., the ones who hope to stay alive) advertise because they want to bring in more customers/subscribers. How does expanding its service community make Providence more expensive? How does leveraging the popularity of the Timbers to promote its community initiatives, such as the Special Olympics, thwart Providence’s not-for-profit mission?

      • Revs4 says:

        Non-profit insurance plans have to advertise and compete for customers too… it’s not a charity that relies on donations. In concept, it’s a company that invests profits back into the company (potentially even keeping premiums down) rather than distributing them to investors or owners.

        I’m sure they figured the investment in additional advertising dollars would lead to more customers. Non-profit insurers in Massachusetts advertise all the time (BCBS MA, Tufts, Harvard Pilgrim, etc.). How is this any different? The investment only hurts its members if it fails to lure in more members. Plus, I doubt that this type of investment is involved in setting premiums (which is contingent on host of a billion other things) which is regulated by the state.

    • patrick says:

      like any business, for profit or not, you need customers (patients) to thrive. A part of that, is awareness, which comes through marketing endeavors such as these.

  6. KingGoogleyEye says:

    This is fantastic news: now I won’t have to go through the difficulty of trying to say “Jeld-Wen.” Always felt like a tongue twister.

    Oh, and money, sponsorship, blah blah.

  7. Ivan says:

    Put some real grass in that stadium.