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Last night I got a sneak peek at JELD-WEN field. There were a few hundred guests invited to watch a highschool exhibition game and “dress rehearse” the stadium before tonight’s MLS home opener.

The stadium looks great the original main concourse hasn’t changed significantly but the new East and South ends are well designed, close to the field and add some modern aesthetic that blends well with the 100-year-old original architecture.

The East stands at JELD-WEN field the night before the first game.

First the Beer:
Winder is a sponsor of the Timbers, so most beer stalls focus on Widmer beers and Coors products. The standards (Hefeweizen, Droptop, W, etc) are present at the main kiosks as well as a handful of carts spread around the stadium.  Brewed specifically for the home opener is a 414 IPA — April 14.  Its a pretty mild IPA and won’t quite be bitter enough for hopheads, but it will work wonders as a session beer, that has a lot more character than your average session beer.

The standard stadium food:
Throughout the main concourse are the usual kiosks. Two new kiosks adorn the East walkway, past the Timber’s merchandise store. These restaurants serve the usual grill fair, burgers, hotdogs, chicken fingers, etc. I also saw curly fries available at a few. The burgers are your standard, patty, thicker than some, but fairly dry. The chicken fingers are well seasoned white meat, not too dry, but come with pretty good think-cut fries. The bratwursts are from Zenner’s and are true brats, pale in color and well spiced with ginger, cardamom and some cinnamon.

Specialty Carts
Scattered throughout the stadium are BBQ, bento, taco and grill carts. Last night they were located beneath the luxury boxes and on the deck on the East side. The BBQ was a little sweet, but better than the options at the Rose Garden. My favorite was the chile verde tacos. I tried the chicken, served with rice and beans. The soft corn tortillas were a little dry. They were  made with yellow corn and warmed to order. The chicken was moist and tender , while the verde sauce had a nice citrus  and vegetable flavor and much spicier than I expected.  The grill cart had the usual sausages and burgers. There was also a carved meat cart. I don’t know if this will be a regular feature, but they were carving us  fresh looking looking whole roast turkey.

I didn’t get to try the sit-down restaurant in the Key Bank area in the East stands.

Expect to see a number of mobile food trucks in the JELD_WEN Field neighborhood tonight. I know Koi Fusion will be setting up shop across the street from the main plaza, as will 2-3 other trucks.

note: I work for CMD which is owned by JELD-WEN.

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