Oregon to allow limited fans at outdoor sporting events

The Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns will be able to welcome a limited number of fans back to home soccer games starting next month.

The Oregon Health Authority said Wednesday that outdoor sporting events can be held at 25% capacity. At Providence Park, that’s approximately 6,500 people.

The Thorns will host the first professional sporting event in Oregon with fans since the coronavirus shutdown when they host Kansas City on April 9 in the National Women’s Soccer League’s preseason Challenge Cup Tournament.

“Playing in front of the fans here in Portland is one of the most unique experiences a female soccer player is going to have,” Thorns forward Christine Sinclair said. “Knowing that they’re cheering for us just gives you that extra, extra little bit of energy in the game.”

Major League Soccer’s Timbers will play a CONCACAF Champions League match April 13.

Annual season ticket holders will get first crack at the available seats, based on a seniority system. There will be a number of safety measures, including distanced seating, mandatory masks, digital ticketing and cashless concessions.

Some MLS teams have already allowed a limited numbers of fans, including Dallas, Kansas City and Orlando.

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