Portland is already home to the Trail Blazers and Timbers. And, up until recently there was no baseball in sight. That all changed when the Portland Pickles made their debut in Lents Park this past June. That’s right–America’s Pastime is back in Portland and you’re invited! Read on for our guide to a day at the ballpark for the Pickles’ inaugural season and why you shouldn’t wait to snag a ticket.
photo: courtesy of Portland Pickles
About The Pickles
Baseball fans have been hoping for a return to the city since the Portland Beavers left what was then Civic Stadium. A few years ago, the Hillsboro Hops started playing (go Hops!), but there were no opportunities to catch a ballgame in Portland proper, until now. The Portland Pickles are part of the Great West League, which gives college baseball players a chance to develop over the summer while providing entertainment for communities.
Home games are played at Walker Stadium in Lents Park, south of Holgate on 92nd. Early birds might get lucky with a spot in the limited parked onsite, but you might catch your breath every time a foul ball goes into the (tree-lined, thankfully) lot. There’s more parking in the surrounding neighborhoods, though be aware that I-205 cuts just to the east. Or, take the MAX green line to the Holgate Station, and don’t worry about parking.
Tickets & Seating
Everyone three & up needs a ticket. You’ll only find an “adult” option online. Field Box tickets are $12, Pavilion tickets are $8 and Grass Berm tickets are $6 each. The field boxes and pavilion are behind home plate for the best view of the action; the field box bleachers are closest, and pavilion are in the bleachers behind. The grass berm is just it sounds like—a grassy hill along the third base line in the outfield. Sunday games start at 5:05 p.m., and other games start at 7:05 p.m. And, for those who haven’t been to the park in awhile: a baseball game is usually around three hours long.
For the best view of home plate, grab a seat in the bleachers. To relax and enjoy a laid back evening at the ballpark, or if your kids are little enough that you’d be worried about bleacher seating, try the berm. For hot summer afternoons, be aware that the park isn’t shaded. By 6 p.m. in mid-June, about half of the berm was shaded. By 7 p.m., most of the berm was shaded, but the bleachers stayed in the sun.
Know before you go: you’ll be using port-a-potties for your facilities so bring along hand sanitizer and extra wipes.
What can I bring?
Blankets, chairs and shade umbrellas are all good to go. Feel free to make yourselves comfortable on the grass berm. Common courtesy prevailed on our visit, with chairs on the top and bottom of the berm, and blankets on the slope. No outside food is allowed, or outside alcohol, but water bottles are fine.
There might not be peanuts or Cracker Jack for sale, but there’s other typical ballpark food for sale: hot dogs, burgers, pizza and soft pretzels, to start. This being the Pickles, you can also buy a honking pickle on a stick, or a deep-fried pickle if you dare. On nights when “kids eat free,” you’ll get a ticket that’s good for a free hot dog. Mom and dad will find a surprising number of microbrews to choose from, but you’ll have to check out several tents for the different selections.
On our visit, players were happy to give high-fives to little fans along the fence, and some stayed for autographs after the game. Mascot Dillon Pickle will happily take a picture with you if he’s not busy getting up to shenanigans on the field between innings. And don’t miss the kids fun zone near first base, with a bouncy castle the night we visited. Bouncing and a baseball game for $6? That’s a bargain.
Click here for the full schedule. We suggest getting your ticket now as the last game is coming up on August 11.
Have you been see the Pickles yet? Let us know in the comments!