The big business news so far this week comes from Portland. The Timbers and Throns have announced that Jeld-Wen Field has been renamed as Providence Park, as part of a multi-year partnership with Providence Health & Services. In addition to hosting the two major league soccer teams, the Park will also host the Special Olympics Oregon Fall Games. Reports suggest that the deal is for 15 years. Jeld-Wen will maintain a relationship with the teams, but will take a significant step back with their role. Per their website, Providence Health & Services is a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry, and in 2011, Providence provided more than $651 million in community benefit, including nearly $204 million in free and discounted care for those who could not afford to pay for care. As is true with many of these deals, the Timbers/Providence relationship will include community outreach and other components.
Also at the beginning of the week, the Houston Dynamo announced that season ticket holders will receive a free subscription to MLS Live as part of the 2014 season. This is a great perk and a wonderful way to promote the team and the league to fans. The subscription is not the only benefit for season ticket holders, including opportunities to have experiences with the team, including rally tunnels and other great opportunities. MLSLive is one of the best offerings the league has and this shows great recognition of a team wishing to provide great value to fans.
Finally, it was reported that TSN will televise 90 games this year, a significant commitment to MLS by the Canadian sports channel. It was also reported that NBCSN will televise the Sounders/TFC match in early March.
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