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PGE Park, Portland, USA

August 7th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

PGE Park (formerly Civic Stadium, a name still used by locals; originally Multnomah Stadium) is a stadium located in Portland, Oregon. It opened in 1926, and underwent a major renovation in 2001.

PGE Park is an outdoor, multipurpose stadium which can be configured for baseball, soccer and American football. The playing surface is NeXturf. The stadium consists of a covered grandstand from foul pole to foul pole, with the length of the football field aligned along the right field foul line. Stands have also stood in both left and right fields from time to time. PGE Park seats 23,136 for concerts, 19,566 for baseball and soccer.

The Multnomah Atheltic Club, an exclusive athletic club in downtown Portland, stands next door; the windows of the north side of the club's building overlook the field.

The stadium is now owned by the City of Portland, and is managed by Beavers PCL Baseball, LLC; the entity which owns the Portland Beavers. The stadium was renamed for Portland General Electric, which bought the naming rights.

The Interstate 405 freeway in Portland is known locally as the Stadium Freeway due to its proximity to the stadium.

The stadium was originally built by the Multnomah Athletic Club in 1926 -- though playing fields and earlier stadiums had stood on the site since 1893. The stadium was a popular site for greyhound racing during the Great Depression. In the 1950s, the Portland Beavers moved to the stadium after their original field, Vaughn Street Park, was condemned. Up into the early 1960s, the stadium hosted some collegiate games for Oregon and Oregon State football. Typically the schools would play their games versus University of Southern California, University of Washington and some other larger programs during this period because the on-campus facilities were inadequate.

The stadium hosted single-A baseball during two periods when AAA baseball left the city; from 1972 to 1978 it hosted the Portland Mavericks, and 1994 to 2000, the Portland Rockies. The stadium hosted the old Portland Timbers of the North American Soccer League from 1975 through 1982, and the USFL's Portland Breakers, as well as the Portland Storm and Portland Thunder of the WFL.

In May, 1991, the stadium got some national attention when an outfielder caught a ball to retire a Portland batter and literally crashed through a wooden advertising sign in left center field behind the warning track. Highlight reels of that play ran for weeks on cable channels such as CNN and ESPN.

A $38.5 million renovation took place in 2001, adding new luxury suites and club seats that replaced the seats behind home plate and upgrading the seating and concourse area. The renovation also improved the structural soundness of the facility, and included a state-of-the-art sound system. The renovation also includes some retro-features, such as a manually-operated scoreboard. At that point, the stadium was renamed, with PGE buying naming rights.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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