Press Box Perspective: Romping around in the Rose Quarter

Photo courtesy of Steve Morgan

Planning your game night at the Moda Center with the Blazers

By Peter Melling /// Sports Editor

The 2014-15 NBA season is underway, and the Portland Trail Blazers look to continue last year’s successes. This team not only has the talent (with stars like Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge) to get back to the Western Conference playoffs and make a significant run, but they also have a great venue, the Moda Center. However, what’s the best plan for game day at the Moda Center?

Getting to the Moda

There are several routes to get to the Moda Center, both via public transport and car. One of the best ways to do this is to take the Pioneer Express to 6th and Salmon, and then take the MAX Blue, Red, or Green Lines to Rose Quarter Transit Center. There is also the 4 St. John’s bus nearby, which should take you right to the arena. Fare is $2.50 for both.

Parking your car or bicycle at the arena is not difficult, either. The West and East garages on Broadway St. should provide enough spaces for your car, and they provide bike spaces as well. Parking for cars ranges from $8-$15, and bike parking is free. There are also street spaces near the arena as well, in case the garages are full.

The vantage point

Where are the best seats at the Moda Center for the best prices? Here’s a level-by-level breakdown.

100 Level:

Sections 105, 108, 116, 119

While these seats do fetch higher prices (anywhere from $60-$150), they are incredibly close to the action and offer decent sight lines. If you want lower bowl seats, yet do not want to shell out for the center court seats (which can reach over $200 on both Ticketmaster and Stubhub), these are an excellent option. The cheapest option in the lower bowl is the baseline sections, but the basket obstructs these seats and obscures most of the action on the opposite side of the court.

200 Level:

Sections 206, 207, 210, 211, 225, 226

These corner sections of the second level provide good sight lines for decent prices (ranging from $40-$90). If you are willing to spend more money, the center court areas (sections 201-204, 213-219, and 228-230) are cheaper at this level (leveling around $150 on Ticketmaster and Stubhub). These seats also come with access to the club lounges of the stadium. Still, the corner options are ideal at the 200 level.

300 Level:

Sections 302, 303, 317, 318, 319, 320, 333, 334

Once you reach the top level of the Moda Center, the center court seats reach a reasonable price (about $20-$50 per ticket). Of course, it is ideal that you find seats for a lower row in the top bowl, so that you have better sight lines and are closer to the action. Avoid the corner sections of the 300 level, as these seats have both poor views and are too distant from the court. While the upper deck seats are not as desirable, they are affordable and can provide decent views (especially the center court seats).

The best nights

Generally, ticket prices will be best when the Blazers face poor competition. When buying tickets online, make sure to look at the league standings to find out which teams, who have road dates in Portland, are struggling. Also, be sure to check the promotional schedule to find dates that may interest you, like the Damian Lillard coaster giveaway on Nov. 17 and the Rip City Ale Fest on Mar. 28.

Rose Garden Grub

Around game time, where else can you eat near the Rose Quarter? There are many dining options within walking distance of the arena, like the famed Spirit of ’77 sports bar, the East Burnside Sizzle Pie, and the Mirakutei sushi bar. While there are restaurants within the actual Rose Quarter, namely the Pyramid Taproom at Schonely’s Place and Dr. Jack’s, substandard food and service keep them from being the best eating option in the area.

Even if the Blazers don’t make much of an impact in the league this season, or you’re not all that into basketball, you can make the most out of your game day experience and have a rip-roaring romp in the Rose Quarter.

Peter Melling is a Sports Editor at the Pioneer Log. He likes to write stories about athletes within the Lewis & Clark community, upcoming games and seasons, and the inner workings of the athletic department. You can follow him on Twitter 

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