Consider this your formal invitation to come to Portland for the NWSL Championship final.
Portland is a pretty simple city for travelers. If you’re flying in just for a few days for the game, you don’t even need to rent a car. Providence Park (1844 SW Morrison) is conveniently located just a few blocks from the center of the city and is easily accessible by public transportation. Both the MAX light rail red and blue lines stop literally across the street and many bus lines have stops within a couple hundred yards of the gates. You can find a public transportation trip planner at Trimet.org. Trimet also offers a pretty handy app that lets you purchase your fare using a smart phone. A full day pass is $5 and will get you anywhere you need to go.
If you’re planning on driving to the stadium on game day, please note: there’s no parking lot. Parking is at a premium in the area with very few pay lots close by. Leave your car at the hotel/Air BnB or whatever and hop on a bus or train, or look for a Smart Park Garage in downtown. If you park after 5 p.m., it, too, is only $5 and several SP garages are close to the light rail lines.
There are lots of good hotels in the downtown core area, though they cater primarily to business travelers and aren’t cheap.
The Park Lane Suites and Hotel Deluxe are within lazy-people-walking-distance from ProPark, the big beige square on the left. This screen capture shows rates pulled from Google as of 9/13/15. They will likely change a dozen times over the next couple weeks. When searching for a hotel, you might also consider the Lloyd Center/Convention Center area. Most have on-site parking and are close to MAX light rail stops. Airport hotels may have lower rates as well, but be aware that rush hour traffic will be between you and the stadium on game day. Forgo the rental car and put that money into the higher-priced downtown hotel.
However, if you’re in town for the weekend, maybe pick up a car to get out of town and see some of the great Pacific Northwest. Mt. Hood and historic Timberline Lodge are roughly an hour’s drive to the east; Seaside, Canon Beach, and Astoria (where The Goonies was filmed*) are a bit more than an hour west.
Or, just stay in town. Portland is home to a significant food cart culture, dozens of breweries, tons of museums and galleries, and a bazillion things to do. Some things to check out:
Portland is home to what might be the only bar in the world dedicated to women’s soccer.
Take a tour of the downtown area and get to know the area with Portland Walking Tours.
We’ve got art!
You like werewolves? We’ve got those, too.
And, in case we hadn’t mentioned it before, we’re the City of Roses.
But you’re here for the soccer, aren’t you? Stick around and check out the University of Portland women’s team October 3 at Merlo Field. For many of us, women’s soccer begins with memories of the legendary Clive Charles. His legacy cannot be discounted.
Okay, so there’s your starting point for your NWSL Championship trip to Portland. We’ll update as we get closer and are looking forward to meeting all of you. Look for a Game Day Info post as we get closer to October 1st.
*When talking about travel to Oregon, it’s required that we mention where The Goonies was filmed.