Providence Park is an iconic sports and entertainment facility located in the heart of downtown Portland, Ore. Originally constructed for $500,000 in 1926, Providence Park is a historic civic gathering place with over 85 years of history, having played host to a variety of sporting events, political gatherings, popular concerts and some of the region’s most memorable events.
Among the thousands of events held on the grounds, which date back before the construction of the stadium to the original Multnomah Field, are presidential visits, an event for President William H. Taft in 1909, the National Football League’s first overtime game in 1955, a concert by “The King” Elvis Presley in 1957, decades of professional baseball, dog racing, college football, the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2009 Cricket Wireless Triple-A All-Star Game and the final professional game for soccer legend Pele in the North American Soccer League’s Soccer Bowl ‘77. It has also been the home for the previous incarnations of Portland Timbers soccer club since 1975. Over its history, Providence Park has played host to a number of different sporting events, including cricket, ski jumping and dog racing.
First built and utilized by the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC), the grounds and stadium have undergone multiple transformations and upgrades over the years from its initial athletic field and small grandstand first build in 1893. In 1926, the facility was expanded into a full-scale stadium, which provided the foundation for the Providence Park that exists today. Before the MAC developed the site as an athletic field, it was a large Chinese vegetable garden, supplying produce to much of Portland.
While the name and events have changed at the venue over the years, Providence Park maintains its historical charm, featuring certain pieces and characteristics of the stadium, which have been in place since its beginning; the upper seating bowl and wood benches still remain from the original construction of the facility over 85 years ago.
The home of Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers, the new-look Providence Park was opened to the public on April 14, 2011, after a significant, $40 million renovation crafted to create one of the most unique and authentic soccer environments in the country as the Timbers marked their debut MLS season.
Ready for a new, exciting chapter to be written on its illustrious timeline, Providence Park plays host to a wide variety of events each year, including Portland Timbers soccer, Portland Thorns FC soccer, Portland State University football, college and high school football and soccer, concerts, community events and public and private functions.
Information, text, and images provided by the Oregon Historical Society and Portland Timbers.