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Now Providence Park allows fans, local bars excited for foot traffic


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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — The Timbers had their first Major League Soccer Match Saturday night with fans back in the stands for the first time since March 2020.

“It’s gonna be really strange,” Whitney Reed, a Timbers fan, said. “There were only three matches last year we were able to go to, so it’s going to be a completely different experience.”

Nearby sports bars, like Wildwood Saloon, are reaping the benefits of more foot traffic around Providence Park – after a tough year due to Covid-19.

“It was a knot in the gut because they put in thousands of dollars. This was a totally different place before they bought it,” Zachary Brown, a bartender at the saloon, said.

He said they’re excited to welcome back Timbers fans, this time – with Covid precautions in place.

“Everyone wears their mask when they come in, and then, of course, we have hand sanitizer at the ready. We wipe down our machines regularly,” Brown said. “We’re really excited to finally actually watch a good game and have happy customers come back and just enjoy themselves.”

Multnomah County just moved to the high-risk level, allowing indoor dining to have a maximum capacity of 25%. Fans are still getting used to the idea of being able to grab a drink before a game.

“So far, it’s a little bit surreal,” Reed said. “We’re just excited to be able to support local communities and the bars that are around here that we so often frequented before Covid hit.”

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