Sports fan or not, attending a Trail Blazers game at the Moda Center is a quintessential Portland experience worth squeezing into the itinerary.
This landmark arena is a popular venue for athletics, concerts, rodeos, and more, but during basketball season, it primarily functions as the Trail Blazers headquarters. The Moda Center is not just where the locals go to cheer on free throws, though; it's a sampling of all the local food, craft brews, and hometown pride Stumptown has to offer.
Tickets to Blazers games are so in-demand that they can sometimes be hard to come by, but additional seats are often available on the secondary market.
Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster, via the phone, or at the Moda Center box office. Distributors like SeatGeek and TicketIQ aggregate all the secondary ticket sites except Stubhub. The price per ticket is adjusted by the team regularly based on inventory, opponent, day of the week, and the Blazers' success at the time.
Aim for low-level seating when purchasing your tickets, and if you’re looking to splurge on some courtside seats, you'll be granted with Club access, parking passes, and a host of other amenities.
The Moda Center's central location makes locating it a breeze. All four MAX light rail lines stop nearby and TriMet buses frequent the area as well. It’s a 30-minute walk or short taxi ride from downtown Portland, but if you prefer to drive, you shouldn't have a problem locating a vacant spot considering there are more than 2,500 parking spaces available near the Moda Center. Fans can even purchase parking passes for the garage in advance if they plan to drive.
Pregame and Postgame Fun
Pregaming is an integral part of the fun. The most convenient place to grab an early drink is Dr. Jack’s, which is across from the main entrance. Upright Brewing offers beer tastings to those willing to walk and for the sports bar types, Spirit of 77 is where you'll find free pop-a-shot and darts.
As far as food standouts go, Toro Bravo is a must for empanada lovers and Bunk is a locals-favorite sandwich chain. Fancier fare can be found at the meat-lovers establishment Ox or Life of Pie Pizza, all within a 15-minute walk.
Food and Libations at the Game
As necessary as that obligatory pre-tip-off burger may sound, you might want to hold off for the menu at the Moda Center. Unlike some sports arenas, Portland's is a hub for gourmet snacks.
The Moda Center is home to outposts of Sizzle Pie, the city's favorite late-night pizza joint, as well as Killer Burger, Po'Shines Café De La Soul, and Zenner's Sausage Company, which has been a Portland staple since 1927. Plum Tasty has vegan fans covered while Salt & Straw provides a solid dessert option.
Portland is, of course, known for its world-class craft beer, so it's only right that the Moda Center serves some up. 70 percent of the beers poured here are of the craft variety, in fact. Widmer, Pyramid, and 10 Barrel are all featured at various concession areas.
Where to Stay
Travelers are treated to a plethora of hotels in the downtown area. Courtyard, Marriott, Hilton, Westin — they're all within reasonable distances of the Moda Center. Alternatively, there's The Nines of the Starwood Luxury Collection, where visiting teams often stay, and ample listings on Airbnb, Vrbo, and HomeAway.