PORTLAND -- Construction of the new-and-improved PGE Park is on time and $5 million over budget.
That's just fine with the city and the owners of the Portland Timbers. During negotiations with team owner Merritt Paulson, the City capped its responsibility for cost overruns to $1 million.
Any expenditures beyond that are Paulson's responsibility. So as workers put on the finishing touches for opening day, the Timbers tell NewsChannel 8 the cost overruns are on purpose.
The team says it willingly decided to improve the new Club restaurant, expand the new store and add food concession features.
"Most of those are really fan amenities and additions and enhancements that we think will go a long way toward making the fan experience even better," said the team's Chief Operating Officer, Mike Golub.
City Commissioner Randy Leonard says the city's million dollar cost overrun responsibility is budgeted to come out of a spectator fund which draws from parking and ticket revenues at all the major stadiums in Portland.
"That doesn't change any of our projections, doesn't touch the general fund, doesn't do anything to the city's finances," said Leonard, explaining how the cost overruns were anticipated during negotiations and will not draw from the City's General Fund which uses tax payer dollars to pay for fire, police, parks and 9-1-1 services.
Last minute changes -including shifting the field of play several feet northwest- have bothered some season ticket holders enough that they're taking tours of the stadium to see whether they should exchange or upgrade their seats for other seats.
The team says it's trying to accommodate all those requests.