Play in Moda Center
in Portland, Oregon
Royal Blue, Red, Silver, Thunder Blue, Black, White
|Head coach||Matthew Sauk|
|League championships (0)
|Conference championships (0)
|Division championships (0)
|Playoff appearances (1)|
The Portland Thunder are a professional arena football team based in Portland, Oregon. The Thunder are members of the Pacific Division of the National Conference of the Arena Football League (AFL). The Thunder joined the AFL in 2014 as an expansion team along with the Los Angeles Kiss. The Thunder are owned by Terry Emmert, and are currently coached by Matthew Sauk. Since their inception, the Thunder have played their home games at the Moda Center.
On October 2, 2013, a press conference was held at the Moda Center where it was announced that sports investor Terry Emmert had purchased the membership rights to an AFL franchise. Emmert purchased the Milwaukee Mustangs, who had been a defunct franchise since the 2012 season. This essentially gave Emmert the right to an expansion franchise, since none of the team's Milwaukee roots remain. When asked what the biggest challenge to running a new franchise was, team president Jared Rose said, "Getting new fans to buy into something that the market really hasn’t seen before. Any new product launch is difficult, but we’ve got an exciting product that once people see it, they are hooked."
On November 8, 2013 the franchise announced that the nicknames, "Thunder", "Enforcers", "Sasquatch", "Growlers" and "Stomp" were the finalist for the team. Six days later, Emmert revealed the team's nickname would be the "Thunder." The Thunder nickname has history in Portland dating back to the 1975 Portland Thunder, who played at Civic Stadium as members of the World Football League (WFL). John Canzano, sports columnist for The Oregonian, wrote that a "team source" indicated that team owner Terry Emmert selected the team's nickname himself, despite claiming that fans would have the ultimate say. According to Canzno's source the "Growlers" nickname was the most popular among voters followed by the "Sasquatch".
Inaugural season (2014)
The Portland Thunder will begin their training camp and hold a media day on February 25, 2014. On March 1, the team will hold an intra-squad scrimmage for season ticket holders at Tualatin Indoor Soccer in Tualatin, Oregon. Their first game occurred on March 17 against the San Jose SaberCats at the Moda Center.
On February 12, 2014 it was announced that the Thunder had signed former Portland State Vikings wide receiver Justin Monahan, who is a native of West Linn, Oregon. The Thunder have former Oregon Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas on their inaugural roster. When asked about being assigned to Portland, Thomas said, "That was one of the main reasons I came back and accepted this opportunity to come here, just for the fans and I know people are behind me [...] I'm coming in to compete and be the starter and that's what I came out here for."
The Thunder played their first game on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th, as 8,509 people came to the Moda Center to see the team lose 64-34 to the San Jose SaberCats. The team started 0-5 before beating the Jacksonville Sharks 69-62 on the road in week 7. After starting 0-4 at home, the Thunder won their first game in PDX in week 11, beating the San Antonio Talons 55-40. Despite finishing 5-13, including an 0-6 divisional record and an even more ghastly 2-11 conference record, the National Conference was so weak, the Thunder slipped into the playoffs. In the conference semifinals, the Thunder actually led 48-45 with less than a minute left, before a miracle finish caused them to lose to the 2-time reigning champion Arizona Rattlers, 52-48.
Players of note
Portland Thunder roster
Refused to report
Other League Exempt
Rookies in italics
The following Thunder players have been named to All-Arena Teams:
Front office and coaching staff
|Portland Thunder staff|
Note: Statistics are correct through the end of the 2014 Arena Football League season.
|ArenaBowl Champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||Playoff Berth|
|Season||League||Conference||Division||Regular season||Postseason results|
|2014||AFL||National||Pacific||3rd||5||13||Lost Conference Semifinals (Arizona) 48–52|
|Total||5||13||(includes only regular season)|
|0||1||(includes only the postseason)|
|5||14||(includes both regular season and postseason)|
On March 11, 2014, the Thunder came to a local television deal with Comcast SportsNet Northwest. Scott Lynn will do play-by-play, Jordan Kent will be color analyst and Megan Berrey will serve as sideline reporter. (CSNNW is not carried on DirecTV or Dish Network.)  They also announced a radio deal with KXTG Sports Radio 750 AM with Jeremy Scott on the play-by-play and Brian Perkins as color analyst.
- Don Walker (October 2, 2013). "Milwaukee Mustangs bound for Portland". www.jsonline.com. Journal Sentinel, Inc. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- Nick Daschel (October 2, 2013). "Arena Football League takes another shot at Portland". www.oregonlive.com. Oregon Live LLC. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- "Football is coming to Portland - An interview with Portland Thunder Team President Jared Rose". OregonSportsNews.com. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "Portland's Arena Football League team narrows nickname contest to five finalists". www.oregonlive.com. Oregon Live LLC. November 8, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "Portland Announces Thunder as Team Name". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "Portland announces Thunder as AFL team name". www.oregonlive.com. Oregon Live LLC. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- Dwight Jaynes (November 12, 2013). "The Portland Thunder? Been there and done that... in 1975". www.csnnw.com. Comcast Sports Management Services, LLC. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- Canzano blog: Portland's Arena Football League team fumbles name, John Canzano, The Oregonian website, February 12, 2014
- Odem, Joel (31 January 2014). "Portland Thunder to begin training camp Feb. 25". OregonLive.com. Portland, Oregon: The Oregonian. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "Portland Thunder sign former Portland State WR Justin Monahan". OregonLive.com. Portland, Oregon: The Oregonian. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "Q&A with former Oregon Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas". OregonLive.com. Portland, Oregon: The Oregonian. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "Portland Names Matthew Sauk Head Coach". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. October 8, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- Thunder, CSNNW Ink Multiyear Partnership, PortlandThunder.com, March 11, 2014
- CSN & Portland Thunder ink multi-year TV deal, CSNNW.com, March 11, 2014
- Thunder, 750 AM Announce Thunder Radio Crew, PortlandThunder.com, March 12, 2014