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Expanded east side stands offer great views, leg room and short beer lines, but the team's festive atmosphere comes from elsewhere.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - Looking west from the top deck of th new east stand, down on the north end and the Timbers Army. As the last 30-minute countdown to the Timber's home opener against Los Angeles Football Club, there was an electric atmosphere at Providence Park.

The expanded east side stand towers over the field and is taller than the rest of the stadium. Three new levels have been added over the old Key Bank Club level, bringing in new fans, or just relocating old ones. On a late spring evening the setting sun burnished the steel roof as people chatted and selfied on the concrete decks at either end, where there are views of the three mountains and all of downtown.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - The expanded east stand of Providence Park before the home opener with LAFC.Hanging out on the Duracell Deck was a Timbers Army regular, Charlie Raymond, who had strolled in from the North End and took the elevator to the fourth level. "I wanted to see what the views were," said Raymond. "I just took a picture of Mount St. Helens and I'm going to text it to a friend. That's Mt. Adams right there and that's Mount Hood," he said pointing with his phone.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - The expanded east stand of Providence Park before the home opener with LAFC.He was number 9,000 on the season ticket waiting list but when his number came up there were no Timbers Army seats available so he didn't buy. Instead Raymond borrows his son's, who moved away. He sits in 206, the upper section of the Army, with a bunch of pals who have been there since 2013. They have a thing for criticizing referees and made their own red and yellow cards that they brandish.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - Timbers fans gather at Providence Park before the home opener with LAFC."My son and his ex used to have season tickets in the Army. And when they split up she got the house, he got the Timbers tickets," Raymond said. "He met a woman in Bend and moved there. So, I got the tickets. And he has all my sympathy."

In the upper decks

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - Soccer players Ryan and Angela Brooks taking in the view afforded by their newly purchased season tickets.Sitting high on the top tier, where there are five rows of seats on a steep incline, Ryan and Angela Brooks were also taking in the view afforded by their newly purchased season tickets which cost "eleven hundred bucks or something" each.

"It's pretty high," Ryan said of the elevation. They could look down on the Timbers Army, and on the North End's roof too.

They waited a long time for them and this was what's was available. Angela shrugged and said they would have preferred to be closer to the pitch, but they weren't complaining.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - 180 view of Providence Park. "We've lived here about seven years and tried to get season tickets because we're both big soccer players and we came from a city that doesn't have an MLS team, St Louis."

Some people in the stands were enjoying their own handiwork. Keith Alnwick, who was there with Denea Mesa, works at Allied Works Architecture, the firm down the block which designed the new stand. Alnwick did design and research, looking at stadia all over the world to come up with a concept that fit the tight space.

PMG: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - Hanging out on the Duracell Deck was a Timbers Army regular, Charlie Raymond, who had strolled in from the North End and took the elevator to the fourth level."We heard about this project after that 2015 MLS Cup victory and my boss, Brad (Cloepfil) approached Mike Golub (President of Business) and said, 'Give us 60 days to come up with an idea for the stadium.' And so we just buckled down."

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - Fans on the Toyota deck in pensive mood as the Timbers trail 2-0 in the first half.The firm has had season tickets since 2011, so the pair pick them up when available. Alniwck is also a member of the 107 Independent Supporters Trust. "We're ecstatic. To be at this level, and to see the entire pitch spread out as the teams are warming up is something I've never experienced before."

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - Timbers goalscorers coming for their log slices at the end of the defeat. The new stand emptied out rapidly thnks to ample stairways and two elevators.Mike Dutton, an engineer with KPFF, was on the south end at one of the concrete plazas level with the goal line. He's a season ticket holder in the Timbers Army but wanted to celebrate the stand's opening. KPFF was the project engineer. "It's definitely a fun project," said Dutton, who was trying to concentrate on the game.

Nico Balster worked on the stand for a year as a superintendent on the concrete work. The structure's metal roof can hang so far over the pitch because of the steel and concrete that ties deep into the ground next to the sidewalk. He marveled that the plazas at the north and south ends cantilever over the rest of the stadium. Everything is a balancing act.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - The structure is cantilevered over the street at each end. Here is the south end near the Providence clinic  entrance. "Was it difficult? Yes, absolutely. There are all kinds of constraints being able to having to build in an occupied stadium where there were games happening regular basis. The whole structure it wants to roll but the engineering is absolutely brilliant. It's a challenging design. I'm nerding out on concrete," he said, eyes shining in the sunset.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - Keith Alnwick, who was there with Denea Mesa, works at Allied Works Architecture, the firm down the block which designed the new stand Balster said he missed the opportunity to buy a season ticket, and was offered no special deal. "I'm just going to buy a single game ticket whenever I can," he said.

Up with the LA fans

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - The Timbers Army's hope opener tifo was a nostalgic association between Oregon's Enchated Forest theme park and Providence Park. With plenty of leg room, everyone was sitting. As with other parts of the stadium, there wasn't the crush of humanity it takes to get a good chant going.

The Timbers have milked the stand for sponsor opportunities, with electronic tickers in view of the cameras, and corporate names for every piece. One level below the top, on the Toyota Terrace, Chip McMakin was having a half-time beer. The lines were short. He used to be a season ticket holder in the Timbers Army. Now he has switched so it will be easier to bring his sons, age 7 and 11, where it is less crowded and you don't have to arrive half a day early for general admission spots.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - LAFC fans before the game. "I'll go back and forth over the season," McMakin said. "I've already bought down there (in the North End) for the Seattle game. But this is better for my family. I can't wait to go down there and look back and kind of get a sense of what it's adding. But I can see the soccer much better on this side, the tactics."

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - (R-L) Tom Clark (Turner Construction foreman), Sheila Clark, Pamela Offret and Nico Balster (concrete supervisor) enjoying the fruits of their labors from the top deck. Up in what could be the worst seats in the house, top corner sections 222 and 223 where they put the visiting team fans, the LAFC supporters were giving a master class in atmosphere. Eighteen months ago, they sprang out of nowhere because the expansion team hadn't played a game.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - Triumphant LAFC fans singing after the game before heading downtown. They call themselves ultras (Italian for fans who travel) but for many it was their first out of state away game. But they came in strength on Saturday, packing their two sections and singing and jumping around for the full three hours they were in the stadium. It didn't hurt that the team has the best record this season, and it was a summer day with no work to rush back to. Dressed in black like their team, almost of all of the LAFC fans wore black baseball caps and wore sunglasses.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - LAFC fans in black turning their back on the video screen during the naming of the Portland team. They took the opportuinity to do a Poznan - linking arms and jumping on the spot. Their turnout rivalled Seattle's and outdid them in noise and movement. They were a more imposing presence in Providence Park than even Seattle. Although they got into some verbal spats with the Timbers families to their left, they were good natured after the win. With no buses to be herded on to, they stopped to chat and high-five with passing Timbers fans, many remarking that they loved Portland the city. Then they headed east to the Starlight Parade, the fair and whatever downtown had to offer on a Saturday night.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - LAFC fans in section 222 and hour before the game.

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