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Demand, Ticket Prices High For All-Star Soccer Game In Portland

OPB | Aug. 5, 2014 12:39 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 5, 2014 9:07 p.m. | Portland

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The Major League Soccer All-Star game is bringing a major economic impact to Portland. Demand for seats to the big game Wednesday - and for hotel rooms - is sending prices for both through the roof. And it’s bringing a financial boon to the Rose City.

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If you’re looking for a hotel room in Portland, be prepared to shell out some serious cash. Travel Portland says hotels tend to be 90 percent occupied in the summer.

But for the nights around the All-Star game, rooms are virtually full, according to Travel Portland’s Megan Conway. She says that’s nearly tripled room rates.

“The condensed, limited hotel room availability, as we do some calling around, and talk to our hotel partners, we’re seeing rates as high as $450, which traditionally, around this time, would be more in the $170-ish range,” Conway said.

The same formula of high demand and limited supply is driving up ticket prices, as well.

Connor Gregoire is with the ticket search engine, SeatGeek - which tracks the secondary ticket market. Gregoire says Portland isn’t the first city to draw excited fans to an All-Star soccer game.

“They’ve always been hot tickets. But 2011, it was in the New York City area, at a brand new arena - the Red Bull Arena. Manchester United, one of the best-known clubs in the world, was playing the MLS All-Stars in that game, and ticket prices still weren’t as high, as we’re seeing in Portland,” according to Gregoire.

Gregoire says the average ticket for the New York game was $202 - in Portland, it’s $224, on the secondary market.

“This is likely the most in-demand soccer game on U.S. soil going back 20 years, to when the World Cup was here, back in 1994.”

Gregoire says the more than 20,000 tickets for the MLS All-Star game have sold for more than $2.5 million, including initial and secondary sales.

The clamor for tickets and hotel rooms is having a big economic effect on Portland, according to travel and sports observers.

Megan Conway with Travel Portland says players and executives bring in up to $5 million alone. She says the Portland Timbers’ officials have estimated the financial effect including fans. Their number?

“A $25 million economic impact figure, because they’re looking at events running across the whole week, all the fan activations that are going on, the live concerts, the team practices that are open - all of that type of thing.”

Conway notes that figure doesn’t include the long-term impact of the game being televised nationally, on ESPN.

The MLS All-Stars kick off against the German professional team, Bayern Munich, Wednesday night at 6:30.

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