Joe Bike

Portland Timbers clarify: No season tickets required for bike parking

Posted by on September 28th, 2015 at 3:34 pm

timbers bike parking

Yes, anyone coming to the game
can use the Timbers bike parking.
(Photo: Providence Park)

A Portland Timbers spokesman straightened out misconceptions about the soccer team’s rules for bike parking in an interview Friday.

Last week, a Timbers fan wrote us to report that he and his wife had biked to a game but been told by Providence Park staff that the big temporary bike racks were for Timbers season ticket holders only. He’d then asked several other attendees, who said they had the same impression.

That’s not the case, Timbers Vice President for Communications Chris Metz said Friday.

“It’s actually open to all fans,” Metz said. “I’m not sure what happened there. There’s about 300 spaces there.”

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That’s good news, especially for Timbers fans in a month when season ticket holders have been hit by a club decision to end its policy of mailing free TriMet daypasses for use on game day.

Timbers President of Business Operations Mike Golub said Friday that the free daypasses had been part of a deal where the Timbers sent some cash to TriMet and also gave the agency a relatively small sponsorship in exchange for the daypasses. Starting with the 2016 season next spring, the Timbers will give season ticket holders the option to buy TriMet daypasses at half price. Golub said that for next season, the Timbers will be offering TriMet a much larger sponsorship worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but no cash, in exchange for an allowance of daypasses that it will sell at half price to season ticket holders.

Golub said that half-off transit daypasses are still a good and unusual deal — unique in Major League Soccer and rare in other U.S. sports.

“In all our research, no other pro sports team anywhere was providing subsidized public transit passes to their fans,” Golub said.

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37 Comments
  • Avatar
    Paul Atkinson September 28, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve been a season ticket holder for many years; since they started placing the temporary bike racks I’ve been checked almost all the time to make sure I have a season ticket before I’ve been allowed to chain up.

    Last match was the first time, though, that I’ve ever arrived to find no bike parking available. It was all completely full to overflowing, with bikes locked to virtually every metal surface available around the stadium. If they’re going to officially open that parking to all comers — and drop the Trimet tickets — they may need to increase bike parking capacity.

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      Adam Herstein September 28, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      I’ve been able to park at the temporary racks and never have gotten checked even for a GA ticket.

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      davemess September 28, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      That’s funny I think I’ve been asked about season tickets maybe 50% of the time in the last 3 years.
      You’re much less likely to be asked if you go to the racks on the East side of the Stadium.

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        Paul Atkinson September 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

        My seats are on the west side so I’m virtually always locking up over there. That may account for the rate of checking.

        I remember having the impression a few years ago that the season ticket holder bike parking was only a segment of the available parking, and that it was the western block…not sure where I got that idea. Could have been true.

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    Lance P September 28, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Please clarify on the bike parking. We have been told 3 times that we can’t park on the west side of the building where most of the bike parking is located. Has this changed? If so, no one told the attendance at our last home game because they told me to move.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) September 28, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      Metz said that any attendee is welcome to use any of the bike parking.

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        Neal September 30, 2015 at 2:58 pm

        Metz should let their employees know this because they have been checking for season tickets for years.

        I would suggest that you don’t exactly take the Timbers front office at their word as they haven’t exactly proven to be the most trustworthy or forthcoming people.

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    Adam Herstein September 28, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Uber needs to get out of town. They are no doubt behind the decision to eliminate the free TriMet pass, seeing as how the Timbers partnered with Uber for next season.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) September 28, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      FWIW, Golub said that’s just a coincidence.

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        Adam Herstein September 28, 2015 at 7:39 pm

        I certainly hope so.

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        Don September 30, 2015 at 7:23 am

        Mr. Golub might think it’s a coincidence, but I find it a very strategic move by Uber to generate a nice series of “surge pricing” events.

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        Neal September 30, 2015 at 3:01 pm

        Nothing is by coincidence. Keep in mind Mike Golub is also the person who negotiated the Comcast deal for the Blazers in which they swore up and down Comcast would negotiate in good faith with satellite TV providers and then tried to gouge them in order to carry Blazers games. Now most of the state and half of Portland has no access to the Blazers or pays Comcast’s exorbitant rates.

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      BeavertonRider September 29, 2015 at 10:44 am

      No.

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    RH September 28, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve always been told biking parking on that side is for season ticket holders.

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      Gary B September 28, 2015 at 4:01 pm

      Yep, they check my ticket (or pretend to) every time. In fact, if I recall years 1 and 2 you had to opt for bike parking for your season ticket (or trimet or discounted parking).

      The recent communication regarding next season’s transportation options was ambiguous as to who could use it. I’m glad BP got the definitive answer.

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    Mark September 28, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    What are they gonna do? Put hands on you? Saw your bike lock?

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      Adam Herstein September 28, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Probably passively-agressivlely leave a note on your bike.

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    mark September 28, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Adam Herstein
    Probably passively-agressivlely leave a note on your bike.Recommended 0

    Like a diesel Vw?

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    davemess September 28, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    I’m interested to see what happens with the TRIMET tickets not being free next year. I’m guessing ridership to the games is going to go down a lot. I know we’re not going to pay for the tickets that we were only using about half the time anyway.

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  • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
    Michael Andersen (News Editor) September 28, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    A note for transparency’s sake: I just edited the post above to change “in exchange for an allowance of free daypasses that it will sell at half price to season ticket holders” to “…an allowance of daypasses that…”

    Since there’s a major sponsorship being traded here, I decided it wasn’t fair to describe them as “free.”

    This wasn’t at the Timbers’ request or anything, and it certainly isn’t a reason for fans to object any less to the policy change. I just saw somebody mention it on Twitter and my phrasing didn’t seem right.

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    Schrauf September 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Lies. I’ve been hassled about using the bike racks without a season ticket. I think they even used to have signs.

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    DC September 28, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve ridden there 4 times in the last 2 seasons. Once each season as I’ve walked my bike up to lock it, someone has actively approached me to tell me I’m not allowed to park there unless I have season tickets. (The other 2 games, I didn’t bother trying, and had to walk blocks to find bike parking – making me less likely to attend more Timbers games.) This VP of Communication needs to communicate to his contractors better!

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    Corey September 29, 2015 at 12:01 am

    I have 4 season tickets, I have to choose with each season ticket whether I want bike parking or a trimet (I do two of each). They’ve never checked that I have the bike parking and I’ve always felt it to be a slap in the face since sometimes I have been denied bike parking and yet I pay for it, or at least choose it over a trimet pass.

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      davemess September 29, 2015 at 7:22 am

      My understanding has been that it was TRIMET passes or nothing, not TRIMET OR bike parking. I mean they send you the little bike brigade sticker, but the bike parking wasn’t really part of the ticket (as supported by the Timbers rep above).

      I’m just surprised by all the interactions people have had, I don’t get asked that much, and even then it’s pretty half-hearted, and I’ve never (in probably 20 interactions) had an attendant ask to see my ticket.

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        Corey September 29, 2015 at 11:08 pm

        No, I was most definitely asked to choose. In fact because I split my transportation options between the two, which is apparently uncommon, I have had multiple discussions with my ticket rep about it.

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          davemess September 30, 2015 at 8:47 am

          I went 2 and 2 for my tickets as well, but I guess I’ve just never viewed that bike parking as the alternative to TRIMET tickets.

          Of course, oddly I seem to have no had almost any of the other problems parking my bike there as others.

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    John September 29, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Over the past few years when they implemented these measures they have almost always checked me for season tickets and many times had two people doing so.

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    J-P Voilleque September 29, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Sounds like the “can I see your ticket” thing is a training issue. Totally agree that random people can’t use the racks, so it’s valid to ask to see the ticket to the game.

    Golub’s comment, on the other hand, is so freaking dumb that I want to chew on my tie. The Army has already googled around and discovered several pro sports franchises that subsidize public transit to the game. It also weirdly brushes aside the planning and logistics aspects of siting a stadium in the first place, and the efforts that teams go through to ensure that there are public transit stops on the doorstep, or in the alternative, shuttles from the nearest stops.

    I dunno, man.

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      davemess September 29, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Sporting Kansas City actually pays for fan’s away tickets!

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    Mick O September 29, 2015 at 10:11 am

    “In all our research, no other pro sports team anywhere was providing subsidized public transit passes to their fans,” Golub said.

    Kind of a shady phrasing there. Plenty of other sports teams offer various free shuttles. The L.A. Dodgers, for example, have free busses running all the way from Union Station and the South Bay to Dodger Stadium. I get that there is a technical difference, but let’s not toot our own horn so loudly, Timbers.

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      Gary B September 30, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      No need to go so far. The Hillsboro Hops have a shuttle from Max to stadium.

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    Tom September 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    The same lady stationed at those bike racks asks if I’m a season ticket holder every time I try to park there. She always takes my word for it and never actually asks to see my ticket tough.

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      davemess September 30, 2015 at 8:48 am

      yep, me too.

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    Andy K September 29, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Just curious – would you pay $3-$5 for a Bike Valet service at Timbers games?

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      davemess September 30, 2015 at 8:49 am

      No, they would do the exact same thing I already do myself. And those racks are about as close as you can possibly get to the gates. Don’t want to imagine what it would be like getting your bike back after the game either.

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    PorterBall September 30, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve been asked if I am a STH holder almost every time… let’s say 18 out of 20 times over the past few years. I am not an STH holder… they said move up the rack… this is for the section in front of the box offices on the eastern side. It’s usually been the same lady each time.

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    Mindful Cyclist October 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I usually take the #20 with my friends but one time I did start locking the bike up and was asked to show a ticket. It was a hard season ticket I bought from someone else so there was no problem, but was left unclear if I needed a season ticket to park there. I could understand them asking to see any ticket to the game, though.

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