The return of Deep Cuts means scouring the internet for unique and off-the-beaten-path stories, opinions, and news. It's not always easy to track down worthwhile links that go beyond what you might find elsewhere, and frankly, I'm not always successful. It's part of the reason there wasn't an edition yesterday; between cranking out an conjectural piece on how the Honduran crisis might affect next month's US qualifier and doing the work of tracking down the links, there just wasn't enough there or enough time to present a Tuesday offering.
We're back, but without the atypical vibe; instead, it's all about stadiums.
- After all of the consternation over the needed renovations to Portland's PGE Park in preparation for the Timebers' MLS debut, the remodel plan won't increase the stadium's current capacity. Well, it will/can in some situations, but the typical capacity will be set at 17,000. That seems like a fairly low number to me, even with the mentioned ability to increase available seating to 22,000 when needed. I can't imagine that those Portland residents that continue to vehemently oppose the city's investment in soccer (and paint the league as risky proposition that isn't likely to last) will be too impressed.
- In contrast to Portland's low attendance bar is the continued raising of Seattle's; the Sounders are considering opening up the "Hawks Nest", general admission bench-style seating at the north end (shame on the writer for referring to the area of the stadium as the "end zone" in a soccer story) of Qwest Field as a response to high demand for tickets. The section of seats has a capacity of 2,200, meaning that sold out Sounders game next year could take place in front nearly 35,000 fans. The simple fact that Seattle has averaged 30,000 this season is stunning. If the momentum continues, and the Sounders prove that the initial heat won't be wearing off, 2010 should be another record-setting year in the Pacific Northwest.
- From the high of increased capacity at Qwest Field, we go to the low of the confirmation from Philadelphia Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz the the club won't be playing their home opener at the new Chester Stadium. Even worse, Sakiewicz suggests Union's second home game might not be played their either; construction delays are stealing some of the club's thunder as they head towards their MLS debut next year. I've joined the chorus of voices that suggest the league send the Union on an extended season-opening road trip to allow for stadium preparations to be completed rather than play in front of a half empty Lincoln Financial Field.