The Moda Center is the largest and most prominent indoor entertainment venue in Portland. It serves primarily as the home of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers and the WHL's Portland Winterhawks. With a capacity of 19,000, it also hosts the largest concerts and events in the city.
With its location in the bustling Rose District just across the river from Downtown Portland, it’s an integral part of the city’s cultural and entertainment landscape. It’s highly accessible from a variety of transportation options, especially the very “Portland-esque” green transit methods.
While the arena’s amenities are top-notch, the Moda Center bag policy can be highly limiting, especially for travelers. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with these rules before heading in. If you’re stuck with your luggage, you won’t be able to bring it in, but you’re not out of luck. Portland’s premier luggage storage service is Bounce, which has dozens of locations across the city, including a few Moda Center luggage storage options.
Moda Center bag policy
The Moda Center bag policy prohibits almost every type of larger bag, with 14" x 14" x 6" being the size limit. Backpacks of any sort are prohibited, regardless of the size. There’s no clear bag policy in place, just the size limit.
With such a strict bag policy at the Moda Center, you won’t want to even try bringing any luggage to the event. Luckily, Bounce’s Downtown Portland luggage storage spot is a convenient place to drop the bags off before heading to the game.
Moda Center food policy
All outside food and beverages are prohibited at the Moda Center. It’s unclear if juice or milk will be allowed for families with small children, but medical exceptions can be made. Luckily, the Moda Center has a wide variety of concessions, the most popular being 10 Barrel Brewing (this is Portland, after all) and Tamale Boy.
Portland is a foodie’s paradise, so grabbing a bite before the game is a great way to explore the local restaurant scene. The best spots near the Moda Center are Upright Brewing and Burgerville for classic stadium food and craft beer. For vegans and diners with dietary restrictions, Gluten Free Gem is one of the city's best health-food restaurants. If you want to treat yourself, check out OX Restaurant for elevated barbecue with an Argentinian flair.
Moda Center transportation
The Moda Center is located in the Rose Quarter area of Portland near the banks of the Willamette River. It’s easily accessible from downtown and other central neighborhoods, and the pleasant riverfront makes it ideal for getting to the arena on foot or by bike.
Portland has a highly efficient public transportation network made up of the MAX Light Rail system. The most commonly used routes to get to the Moda Center are the Red, Blue, or Green lines which have stops nearby. The Rose Quarter Transit Center is right next to the arena, making it steps away from your train to the arena gates.
While it’s slightly hilly, Portland is famous for its bike-friendly infrastructure. As far as American arenas go, the Moda Center must be the most biked-to sports venue in the country. There are convenient bike racks outside the arena. It’s less than a 10-minute ride from downtown.
Walking to the Moda Center is a viable option if you're staying at a hotel nearby or in the downtown area. It’s about a 20-minute walk from downtown.
The arena is accessible via major highways like I-5 and I-84, but this is one of the least popular ways for locals to get to the Moda Center. Parking can be competitive, so you’ll want to arrive early. A parking spot generally costs about $35 on event days.
Taxi and rideshare
Services like Uber and Lyft are very common in Portland and can drop you off near the arena. There are designated rideshare areas where you can meet your ride after the event. Taxis have all but disappeared in the city, but you can find one downtown.
Moda Center camera policy
The Moda Center camera policy prohibits almost all professional equipment, including tripods and monopods. It does allow all SLR and DSLR cameras without detachable lenses so long as no flash is used. All video and audio recording equipment is prohibited. iPads, tablets, and selfie sticks are also prohibited. It’s not explicitly stated, but you should assume that GoPros are not permitted either, as they qualify as video recording equipment.
Moda Center rules
Banners, signs, and flags
For Trail Blazers games, all signs, flags, and banners must be 11” x 17” or smaller. They cannot be affixed to a pole or stick and cannot be political, commercial, or offensive in nature.
Ticketing has switched over from hard copies to an entirely electronic system, so you'll need the Trail Blazers or Rose Quarter mobile app for entry. Gates generally open 90 minutes prior to tip-off for games. Certain onsite bars and restaurants open two and a half hours prior to the start of an event.
The Moda Center has gone completely cashless, so you’ll need a credit or debit card in order to make concessions or merchandise purchases. Mobile payment methods like Google Pay and Apple Pay are also accepted. There are also reverse ATMs throughout the arena to convert cash into a VISA card.
There are no longer any testing or vaccination requirements at the Moda Center.
While many travelers associate Portland with hipster pastimes like craft beer and handlebar mustaches, the Rose City is a solid sports and entertainment town, and the Moda Center is right in the middle of it. With a central location, the Moda Center is easy to get to regardless of where you’re staying in Portland, so it’s definitely worth checking out a show or game. It’s also easy to plan a whole day around a game or show so that you can do a tasty Portland brunch before your event. Just remember that there’s no need to let your luggage get in the way because Bounce has you covered.