Sports in Portland, Oregon

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Portland, Oregon, United States, is home to two major league sports teams — the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association, and the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer. The city also hosts a wide variety of other sports and sporting events.

Current professional teams[edit]

Basketball[edit]

The Portland Trail Blazers have played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) since the 1970 season. The Trail Blazers have played in three NBA Finals (1977, 1990, 1992) and have won one NBA Championship (1977). Several of the Trail Blazers' former players are in the Basketball Hall of Fame, including Dražen Petrović, Bill Walton, Lenny Wilkens, Clyde Drexler, and Arvydas Sabonis. Furthermore the team has retired several numbers including Terry Porter (#30), Maurice Lucas (#20), Larry Steele (#15).

The Portland Chinooks play in the International Basketball League at the The Courts in Eastmoreland.

Hockey[edit]

The Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks have played in the city since 1976. They split their home games between the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the Moda Center. They have won three league championships (1982, 1998, 2013).

Soccer[edit]

The Portland Timbers joined Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2011 after having past incarnations from 1975–82, 1985–90 and 2001–10. They play at Providence Park, where they average over 20,000 fans and routinely sell out matches.[1] As of November 2013, the Portland Timbers had sold out the last 50 consecutive matches, and over 10,000 fans were on the wait list for season tickets.[2]

The Portland Timbers U23s have been playing in the USL Premier Development League since 2010 and share Providence Park with the MLS Timbers. In 2012, the Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League was formed. They won the league championship in 2013.

Baseball[edit]

Professional baseball was played nearly continuously in Portland from 1901 until 2010, absent only during the 1994 season. The original Portland Beavers were the longest lived team, playing every season from 1901 to 1972, though occasionally under a different name. Various minor league baseball teams played in Portland thereafter, including revived Beavers teams between 1978 and 1993 and again between 2001 and 2010. Since 2010, there has been no professional baseball played within the city limits of Portland.

Beginning in 2013, the Hillsboro Hops have played at Ron Tonkin Field in the nearby suburb of Hillsboro, Oregon, about 15 miles east of Portland. A farm team for the Arizona Diamondbacks, they play in the Northwest League, a Class A Short Season minor baseball league.

Football[edit]

In 2013, it was announced that the Arena Football League (AFL) was expanding to Portland. The Portland Thunder are owned by Terry Emmert.[3] The Thunder's first game occurred on March 17, 2014, against the San Jose SaberCats at Portland's Moda Center.[4]

List of professional teams[edit]

Club Sport League Championships Home venue Founded Attendance
Portland Thorns Women's soccer National Women's Soccer League 1 (2013) Providence Park 2012 13,320
Portland Thunder Arena football Arena Football League Moda Center 2013
Portland Timbers Soccer Major League Soccer Providence Park 2009 20,674
Portland Timbers U23s Soccer USL Premier Development League 1 (2010) Providence Park 2008
Portland Trail Blazers Basketball National Basketball Association 1 (1976–77) Moda Center 1970 19,829
Portland Winterhawks Ice hockey Western Hockey League 2 (1982–83, 1997–98) Moda Center 1976 6,537

College sports[edit]

Portland is home to two NCAA Division I programs: the Portland Pilots, of the University of Portland, and the Portland State Vikings, from Portland State University. Portland State offers football, basketball, women's volleyball, golf, soccer, track and field, tennis, softball, and cross country. The Vikings sponsor football in the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) level and play their games at Providence Park. Portland State is a member of the Big Sky Conference. The Portland Pilots are members of the non-football West Coast Conference and sponsor baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, and track and field.

Other sports teams[edit]

  • Tennis. Team Portland Tennis[6] is a gay and lesbian tennis group that hosts the GLTA sanctioned The Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance Rose City Open every Labor Day weekend and provides various opportunities to meet and compete within the gay community.
  • Touch rugby. The Portland Touch Rugby team is a member of the US Federation of International Touch (USFIT)and has won the national championship several times, most recently in 2007 (Portland, Oregon), 2008 (Houston, Texas), and 2009 (Portland, Oregon). The team, the Portland Hunters [3], is home to a number of key members of the US National Touch team who have competed in the Touch Rugby International World Cup several times. There are also two other Touch Rugby teams in the Portland area, the Tigard, Oregon branch of Tumeke Touch and the Reed College Touch Rugby team.
  • Australian Rules Football. Portland is home to the Portland Steelheads Australian Football Club of the USAFL, one of the oldest in the United States, having formed in 1998. The club also runs a small metro footy league.[7] Portland holds the record attendance for an Australian Rules Football match (14,787), when visiting Australian Football League clubs Melbourne and West Coast competed at Civic Stadium in 1990.
  • Roller derby. The Rose City Rollers is an all-female Women's Flat Track Derby Association-affiliated league with over 140 members, founded in 2004. It consists of five teams: the Heartless Heathers, the Break Neck Betties, the High Rollers, the Guns N Rollers, and the All-Star traveling team, the Wheels of Justice, who play in interleague bouts. Portland Men's Roller Derby is an all-male league established in 2009. The men's league plays by the current WFTDA roller derby ruleset.

Defunct sports teams[edit]

The Portland Beavers were a Triple-A baseball team from the Pacific Coast League affiliated with the San Diego Padres. The most recent franchise, which left after the 2010 season to become the Tucson Padres, was founded in 2001, though the Beavers name dates to an early Portland baseball team established in 1903.

Baseball teams called the Beavers existed in Portland from 1903-1917 and again from 1919-1972, and finally from 1978-1993. In 1973, after the Beavers moved to Spokane, Washington, the Portland Mavericks came to town in the form of an independent Single-A team within the Northwest League. From 1973 to 1977 they played in what was then known as Civic Stadium. The Mavericks were owned by ex-minor league player and television actor Bing Russell. When Russell sold the team back to the Beavers in 1978 it was for 116,000 dollars, at the time a record amount for a minor league franchise. The most recent Beavers franchise played in PGE Park. The original Beavers stadium was Vaughn Street Park located in northwest Portland. The Beavers have won the Pacific Coast League Pennant the following years: 1906, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1914, 1932, 1936, 1945 and 1983. When the Beavers relocated to Salt Lake City in 1993, another Northwest League team, the Portland Rockies, moved in for the 1995 season, playing until 2000. When the Beavers returned, the Rockies relocated to Pasco, Washington to become the Tri-City Dust Devils.

The Portland Pride was established in 1992 as a founding member of the Continental Indoor Soccer League (CISL), which began play in 1993. The team played its home games in Portland's Memorial Coliseum. In 1997, the team and the league played its last season. The CISL folded and the Pride ownership moved the team to the Premier Soccer Alliance, where the team played under the name Portland Pythons.

Other venues, events, and activities[edit]

A view of downtown with Mt. Hood in the background.
  • Rock climbing is growing in popularity as an outdoor pastime. At numerous small crags around town, one may glimpse mountaineers-in-training with their ropes, alpenstocks, and hard-soled boots practicing their technical moves on the rock in preparation for difficult alpine ascents.
  • Running is a major important sport in the metropolitan area, the home of Nike and of Adidas' American operations. The Portland Marathon has been held annually in the city since 1971. The Hood to Coast Relay is the world's largest running relay race,[citation needed] with approximately 17,000 racers per year running from Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood to the Pacific Ocean at Seaside.
  • Velodrome. Amateur cycling has occurred weekly at the Alpenrose Velodrome since 1962.
  • Cricket. Portland has its own cricket league called Oregon Cricket League (OCL) estb. 2005 that provides 2 formats of the game of cricket year around; T20, the 20 overs cricket league played in colored clothings, and the longer format of 30 overs league played in whites. Beaverton United Cricket Club is the reigning champion of the T20 league, winning it 3 times in a row from 2011. Northwest Cricket Club is the current champion of the 30-30 cricket league.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Oregonian, For the Portland Timbers, home field is a real advantage, Nov. 5, 2013, http://www.oregonlive.com/timbers/index.ssf/2013/11/the_home_field_is_a_real_advan.html
  2. ^ The Oregonian, For the Portland Timbers, home field is a real advantage, Nov. 5, 2013, http://www.oregonlive.com/timbers/index.ssf/2013/11/the_home_field_is_a_real_advan.html
  3. ^ Harbarger, Holly (5 March 2014). "Terry Emmert's arena football aspiration examined: Clackamas County in the news". Portland, Oregon. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Odem, Joel (31 January 2014). "Portland Thunder to begin training camp Feb. 25". OregonLive.com. Portland, Oregon: The Oregonian. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.americanrugbynews.com/artman/publish/rugby_league/RL_Hopes_To_Move_West.shtml
  6. ^ http://www.teamportland-tennis.org
  7. ^ http://www.portlandfooty.com/