FanPost

The Portland Timbers, the fan experience, and Filling the Moda Garden

So, as we all know, the Blazers are 16-3, and they are still not selling out, even on nights playing marquee teams such as the Pacers and Thunder. Meanwhile, the Portland Timbers sold out just about every game last season, and GA tickets fetched high prices on the secondary market.

I dig the Timbers, though they don't share the same space in my heart as the Blazers. But I have to admit that attending a Timbers game is a wonderful and quintessentially Portland experience. They have stolen a little of the Blazer's thunder. But they are not natural enemies and their seasons don't overlap much. If anything, it introduces a little friendly competition that may be helpful in shaking up a staid fan experience.

The best thing for a team is sustained excellence on the field or court. But, lets assume for this conversation that the players, PA, NO, and TS are doing everything in their power to effectuate that. The Timbers were wildly popular last year when they were terrible.

Of course, the Timbers are new and Portland is still in the honeymoon phase. But you have to hand it to the ownership. They've given the Timbers Army a huge say in the fan experience, and the results have been amazing.

My question is, is there anything that McGowan and Co. can learn from the Timbers' success? So many of the Timbers traditions seem so rooted to the traditions of soccer, and they grew up so organically through collaboration with the fans that I don't know if there's a particular policy that management can pursue to try to replicate it. A top-down approach may seem phony and backfire. On the other hand, the current fan experience feels so corporate and manufactured.

Does anyone have any ideas on how the Trailblazers could deliver a more fan-oriented, genuinely Portland experience?



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