One of the most interesting places to go in Portland is the Rose Garden Arena. On any given night, attractions might include rock concerts, basketball games, hockey games, rodeos, moster truck rallies, or childrens musicals such as "Disney on Ice". It is interesting not only because of the entertainment acts which it features, but also because of the many functions it can take on as one of the largest public establishments in the state of Oregon.
Built in 1993, and opened in 1995, the Rose Garden arena was mostly funded via Paul Allen and Vulcan Inc. who is also the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers professional basketball team.
The exterior shape of the Rose Garden arena was designed to invoke the shape of a Rose, in congruence with Portland's identity as the "City of Roses".
In particular, Blazers basketball games tend to have the most consistent and largest draws. With a total capacity of just over 20,000 people, the Rose Garden can be a raucous place when a crowd is excited. There are no "bad" seats in the house, as the walls of the arena are sloped at such an angle as to accomodate the maximum amount of people possible, and to bring them as close to "center court" as possible.
As one approaches the arena, there are many entrances and exits which open to a large concourse which encircles the building. Every 50 or so feet, there are vendors stationed against the walls selling clothing, sports equipment, novelty items and gift items. There are concession stands built in next to the entrances to the arena itself, which offer the entire gamut of junk food fare for the masses.
On the first level (the 100 level) where the nicer seats are located, it is also possible to gain access (for a price) to the "Lexus Club Level", which includes an "all you can eat" buffet during games, and an unlimited access snack bar which is litterally a parent's nightmare for children pursuing a sugar high.
With as much hustle and bustle as it takes to get people seated in their correct seats, there are plenty of helpful attendants, and the doorways are all numbered with their corresponding ticket and seat number. There are escalators, elevators, and wide staircases which allow for thousands of people to navigate through the buildings levels. Traffic is seldom jammed, unless too many people decide to go through the same exit. There is always another exit close by.
Probably the most exciting thing about the Rose Garden arena is the simple fact that the people who arrive there, are already excited themselves. Many of the attendants are apt to paint their faces, wear ridiculous outfits, make funny signage, and generally act in such a way as to incite other participants to match their level of enthusiasm for the home team. High fiving, chanting, hollering, and chest bumping are commonplace here.
All the trappings of a good time.