Even before the final whistle blew in the Western Conference Final on Saturday and the celebrations began, the planning started. Before Tetris was over, preparations for a historic event — the first ever MLS Cup Final in Portland! — were well underway: Do we host an MLS Cup Eve party? Do we host a postgame bash? Where? How? What do we need? Volunteers were already hard at work, contacting venues, acquiring kegs, clearing their calendar to be boots on the ground and ready to tackle any task. We’re ready to show off the joy that is Soccer City, USA.
None of the spectacle of gameday happens out of the blue. It’s hundreds of dedicated volunteers spending thousands of people hours tracing and painting banners in a cold warehouse. It’s dozens of volunteers willing to endure the Sisyphean task of carrying flags and drums down the stairs of Providence Park (and carry them back up the beer-soaked steps later). It’s 50 people to pull on ropes and deploy a tifo — and then make it all disappear during the match. It’s people regularly giving up hours of their time before every match to make sure you can get No Pity scarves at cost and face-value tickets without SeatGeek scalping. You may ask, “How does all this happen? Who pays for all this?”
The money you spend at the No Pity Van, buying t-shirts, hats, stickers, scarves, and other great merch, is funneled directly back into the operating budget for the Timbers Army.
And, if you’re a 107IST member, your membership in the 107 Independent Supporters Trust buys the fabric and materials for tifo and pays rent on the warehouse in which it is painted. It buys the flags and smoke. It allows us to rent the space in which we can gather and celebrate our love of the Holy Trinity: Team, Town, and TA/Riveters. It pays for outreach in the community, including more than a half-million dollars in donations from members to charitable efforts in the last ten years.
If you like supporting soccer in and around the Portland area, from the grassroots to the highest professional level, consider joining the 107IST today. Your $25 goes a long way in creating the best supporters the world has ever seen. If you’re already a member, thank you. Truly, it takes an Army.
We also invite you to get involved in what we do! There are myriad ways you can contribute. Sign up to volunteer here.