I was lucky enough to attend the Grand Prix of Portland again this year (2019). I attended last year and was quite impressed with the venue and this year I wanted to explore a lot more areas of the venue that I didn’t get to do last year. I am not going to go into details of the track and what not since I covered that in my post last year. Just go read that. That being said, I will add more info.
Like I mentioned last year, since there were quite a few good view points from general admission, we decided to just buy general admission tickets for $60 USD for the weekend and boy that was a good decision. Not only are there great places to watch the cars from, it was so dead on Saturday, we could basically sit pretty much where we wanted. We did have one volunteer asks us to leave but eventually he gave up to as the stands were empty (like 20 to 100 tops). On Sunday it was a bit busier but I go to sit in Grandstand M and no one checked. Compared to the $325 CDN I paid for the Grand Prix in Montreal that’s quite the bargain. One thing they had this year and I am not sure there was last year is that they had 4 shuttle buses running clockwise around the circuit so you could get around the track. That was really nice. You barely had to wait and it reduced the walking quite a bit.
For the race, we eventually settled on a spot of grass in the “peninsula” between turns 5 and 7 which is right in front of grandstand L. From there, we could see about 30 seconds of action (on a 55 seconds lap). Towards the end, it was almost too overwhelming and I didn’t know where to look anymore which is a good problem to have. We also had a big screen right in front of us. I actually watched the start of the race near turn 9 at the end of the back straight and that was good as there is usually a lot of passes around there, the only problem is that there are no screens there and no speakers either so hard to know what is happening unless you have a radio or mobile app. I started there and slowly made my way to the grassy knoll to watch the majority of the race and I actually didn’t miss any laps. The cars would go buy, I would move about 100 feet counter clockwise, watch them again, so on. There was only a small bit near an RV parking where I may have missed a car or two. Can’t beat that.
Getting There Parking
This year we got to stay at the Portlander Inn near the track and they had a free shuttle for customers so we did that on the Saturday. On the Sunday, we parked at the Expo center and paid $20. They had a shuttle as well. After the race, we used the west entrance (can only exit from there) and walked back to the car. About 15 minutes. We did notice a few free parking spots around there but since you have to get in from the main entrance, you probably have a 15 minutes walk to get in.
Attendance this year seemed to be down from last year. I can’t find any published numbers but when looking at the grandstand where we sat last year, it was maybe 2/3 full while last year I am pretty sure it was close to being sold out. Now maybe folks are doing what I did this year and getting GA tickets as well but the general admission areas weren’t that busy either.
I again created a video from it. I got a lot more footage this year so I hope you enjoy it.