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Portland City Council approves Providence Park stadium expansion

The Portland City Council has approved a $50 million dollar expansion of Providence Park, home of the Portland Timbers of MLS and the NWSL's Portland Thorns.

As reported by The Oregonian, the project, which was approved unanimously on Wednesday, will be privately financed, and will expand the venue's capacity by 4,000 seats from it's current total of around 21,000.

The city council's vote indicates that it approves in concept a tax exemption that would waive all ticket taxes on the new seats for 10 years. That amount is expected to reach $2 million spread out over that timeframe. At the conclusion of the 10-year window, the Timbers will pay the city a tax on tickets it sells for those seats in perpetuity.

Mayor Ted Wheeler told the Oregonian the project was "as good a deal that any public jurisdiction within the United States has been able to put together with a private sector sports team."

In the coming months, the council will vote on whether to hire architects and planners to represent the city and provide input during design of the new stadium section. The council will then vote on specific terms for the expansion and the associated tax break.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.

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