|Why aren't more fans coming out to see games at this great old minor league ballpark ? If Portland wants to be a major league city, they will have to draw better. It's a bit puzzling, especially after a $40 million renovation in the late 1990's. The park is nestled in the downtown and fits right in, mostly because it is sunk some 40 feet below street level. This allows passersby on the street to peak in through the wrought-iron fence and see the game from the outfield. The two main entrances (one in left field and one behind homeplate) each feature a small courtyard and are almost identical in appearance. Once inside, the physical structure of the park is quite impressive. A large roof covers over 90% of the 23,000 seats. The seating is split by a center aisle that leads to the concourse area. Seating above the center aisle is wooden benches with backs. Lower seating is all folding green chairs. Luxury boxes are stacked 4x4 behind homeplate with a few additional ones located on the field level. The seats are a bit far from the field and the upper sections have poles which could obstruct some views. The concourse area located underneath the grandstand is bright, clean, and plenty spacious. Concession stands and a small team store are located on the concourse. There is a limited variety of concessions at average prices. Two picnic areas are located field level and an additional one is located in left field, high above the field. Interestingly, there is no real press box here - instead just a table is setup on the center aisle in front of the luxury boxes. The atmosphere is pretty minor league here - many between inning contests were done, but fortunately sound effects were non-existent. While most AAA parks now have a fancy video scoreboard, you won't find one at PGE Park. Instead, they have a large, hand operated scoreboard in left field - all information is changed manually, from the count to the score to the number of the batter. It is quite neat to see it in action, and a refreshing change from the video boards found at newer parks. I only found a couple negatives about the park. First, why do they need artificial turf ? Secondly, parking is very limited, and what can be found is expensive ($4-$7). Maybe MLB will give Portland a chance to host some Expos games in 2004 - PGE Park is certainly no worse than the park being used in Puerto Rico. But maybe it would be better for Portland to stay AAA - that way one of the classic minor league ballparks could remain in use. It is one of the few relics left in this country. Unfortunately, the Beavers left town after the 2010 season when the city decided that hosting a pro soccer team was more important. PGE Park will no longer host baseball and one of the nicest cities in the U.S. is left without the national pastime. For a panoramic of the exterior, click here.