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Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

Melbourne, Australia
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Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

Hi All,

We are flying from Melbourne Australia to Vancouver BC for Xmas / New Year with my wife and 2 teenage sons and will be doing a road trip to see the Blazers v Spurs game on Jan 7th.

The intention is to leave Vancouver on the Sunday morning and drive down to Portland. We don't have a set arrival time as we want to take the trip as it comes and keep options open for stopping at any points of interest along the way etc.

we would envisage being in Portland from mid-late afternoon on the Sunday untill give or take lunch time on the Monday, at which point we will drive back to Seattle for a night.

There will be 5 of us in total (inc my mate that we are staying with in Vancouver), are we best to look for hotel accommodation close to the Moda Centre or should we be looking for something in the heart of "downtown" (I'm assuming there would be good public transport options from downtown to the Moda Centre?). If I was to look at an AirBnB, what areas would be recommended?

thanks in advance!

10 replies to this topic
Eugene, Oregon
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1. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

If weather good, figure on at least 7 hours from Vancouver to Portland. That includes getting to and through the border. If weather is bad (rain, snow, sleet, freezing fog, etc.) add hours.

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

There are several hotels in the Lloyd area- just east of the Moda Center. These tend to be slightly less expensive than downtown-although during Christmas it may not be. Yes there are very good transit options from downtown to the Moda Center- just take any of the Red/Blue MAX lines.

Bellingham...
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3. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

If you want to explore a little, be able to walk for food, a downtown hotel would be best. The area around Lloyd center is not interesting, but otherwise, chinookgirl is right. Makes little difference. I don’t think downtown will be expensive then though, so I’d pick one of the better hotels downtown. That’s after the holidays.

Don’t dally on that drive. Leave early. We can get snow or ice storms or severe rain. If you get to Portland early, consider it a bonus. At that time of year, personally, I’d go down on Saturday and stay two nights. It would suck to miss your game, and extra time in Portland would be nice too.

Troutdale, Oregon
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4. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

I would also suggest the Lloyd area. I would want to be close after the game.

An extra day would really help if there is bad weather.

Oregon/Washington
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5. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

I would stay in downtown vs around the Lloyd center. MAX is right there, and is a 5 minute ride to downtown, so you would still be close but would be in a much nicer and more interesting area for before the game and the next morning.

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

FYI... game time is at 6pm, doors open at 5pm. If it was me traveling from Australia, via Vancouver, to come to an NBA game...I'd want to get there early and soak in the atmosphere around the concourse and on court during shoot-around/warm-up drills... but maybe that's just me. :) Games vs. San Antonio are *always* a good time, what with ex-Blazers on the team like LaMarcus Aldridge and Aussie Patty Mills and veteran stars like Manu, Pau, Kawhi & Tony (if they're healthy by then)...

With a 7 hour+/- drive (including a border crossing) and possibly lousy driving weather, I'd rethink the idea of traveling same day as the game. Even it means coming down part of the way on Saturday (Seattle overnight perhaps?) and continuing the journey on Sunday. You'd have more time to enjoy Portland, too.

Downtown is (as others have said) a good hotel spot and very accessible to Moda Center via MAX. Lots of hotel options in downtown, almost all within a short walk of MAX. Choose the one that fits your budget...and if you need help deciding on one once you've narrowed it down, just ask.

Hope that helps,

Brian

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

Thank you all for the tips and advice - Tripadvisor really does rock!

The whole trip has come about quite quickly - it started with a throw away line about 5 weeks ago to spend xmas over seas and quickly became a reality (much to the bank balances disgust!) - I would truly have been a mess trying to organise what I have so far without this site!

My 13 year old is basketball obsessed (he has training or games on 6 days a week - my other son has training on that 1 free day!) so his must do for the trip was to see an NBA game (was pretty big on my list as well!)

We start off with a week in LA but the only game on during that week is the Lakers v GSW, which is also Kobe's jersey retirement night so tickets for that are well out of my reach!

We were already planning on heading down to Seattle for a couple of nights so extending that trip to Portland became the way to get the NBA game in. Thankfully we will e travelling down with my mate from Vancouver - he will be driving in his behemoth dual cab pick up! It would seem though that I've been sucked in by google maps telling me that the trip by road from Delta in BC to the Moda Centre was approx 5hrs & 20 minutes!

I think might reconsider some of our plans - I quite like Brian's idea of maybe heading to Seattle on the Saturday and continuing on from there Sunday, then potentially staying in the Seattle area again on the Monday. I also want to do as Brian says and get the well before the tip off to take in the whole event!

We also have our fingers crossed that we might end up with some pretty special tickets to see the Trailblazers play the 76ers on the 28th - the GM of my son's club is good friends with Brett Brown and one of his coaches went to school with and played juniors with Ben Simmons (our club is Simmons' junior club!) - if that one comes about thought I think Ned and I might just fly down from Vancouver!

Anyway, I've dribbled on a bit too long (sorry - excitement levels are very high!!), I'll have a look at some down town options and then seek some further advice!

Newberg, Oregon
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8. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

If the weather is decent, your 5:20 time estimate from Vancouver to Portland could be pretty close. When we lived just west of Salem (about 1 hour south of Portland) we usually made it to the B.C. Ferry terminal at Tsawassen (a little SW of Vancouver) in about 6 hours.

But that's with clear skies and no big slowdowns through Seattle.

Portland, Oregon
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9. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

Your Google Maps estimate from Vancouver to Portland does not take into account either time to clear customs and immigration at the US/Canada border, nor does it take into account the possibility of traffic through Seattle, or around Olympia, WA.

On busy days the wait to cross into the US on I-5 can be four hours (not kidding). ezbordercrossing.com/list-of-border-crossing…

Honestly, if this is important to you and time is scarce, I would advise flying from YVR to PDX.

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Visitng Portland for an NBA game (from Australia!)

Note also that the crossing times at the US/Canada border are not symmetrical -- it's a much bigger PITA to cross into the US than into Canada.

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