It's time to close the door (and window?) on Jeld-Wen Field.
The Portland Timbers announced a title change to their home turf on Monday, giving Civic Stadium a new moniker: Providence Park.
The name switcharoo is the result of a "new integrated community partnership" between PTFC and Providence Health & Services (Oregon's largest private employer) and comes three years after Medford-based Jeld-Wen took over naming rights to the ol' PGE Park prior to Portland's inaugural Major League Soccer season.
“It’s important to us and our fans as we continue to put the best team possible on the field,” Timbers owner Merritt Paulson told media after announcing the 15-year deal. “These kinds of deals are just critical for our success.”
But before you history majors ask what Roger Williams' interpretation of God's will has to do with footy in Soccer City, a refresher: Providence is a 155-year-old "not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves–especially for those who are poor and vulnerable." The Renton-based company, which serves five states (Oregon, Alaska, California, Montana and Washington), secures naming rights in time to make their mark on the international football stage, as Portland hosts reigning UEFA Champions League Bayern Munich of Germany the 2014 MLS All-Star Game in August.
The move also happens to give the Rose City two professional places of sport named after health care companies, after the Blazers dubbed The Rose Garden "The Moda Center" last summer. Ah, but just as PGE Park was affectionately (I think) called "Piggy" and Jeld-Wen Field was known as "The Jelly" and "The House of Pane," fans will be looking for a different (likely punnier) epithet for Soccer City's new home pitch when the season kicks off in early March.
So, Blogtown, what to call Providence Park this season? Let's put it to a vote!