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)
The Portland Thunder are a professional arena football team based in Portland, Oregon. The team is to begin play for the 2014 season as a member of the Arena Football League (AFL). The team will play as a member of the National Conference in the league's Pacific Division. The team is owned by Terry Emmert, and will play their home games at the Moda Center. The Thunder are the second arena football team represent Portland. The Portland Forest Dragons were the first, playing for three seasons (1997–99) before being relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Matthew Sauk, a retired professional quarterback, is the Thunder's current head coach.
Portland Forest Dragons (1997–99)
The Thunder are the second arena football team to established in Portland. From 1997 to 1999 the Portland Forest Dragons played in the American Football League (AFL) before relocating to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where they played under the name "Wranglers". The Forest Dragons never made the postseason and held a 13–29 win-loss record with an average attendance of 8,914 during their three season history.
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 a intra-squad scrimmage for season ticket holders at Tualatin Indoor Soccer in Tualatin, Oregon. Their first game will come 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."
Portland Thunder roster
Refused to report
Other League Exempt
Rookies in italics
Coaching staff and front office
|Portland Thunder staff|
- Lewis & Clark Pioneers football
- Portland State Vikings football
- Portland Timbers
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Professional Spring Football League
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- "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.
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- "Portland Names Matthew Sauk Head Coach". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. October 8, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2013.