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 notable 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 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. They won their first MLS Cup in 2015.[2]

The Portland Timbers 2 have been playing in the United Soccer League since 2014. Portland Timbers 2 (often referred to as "T2") is the reserve squad of the (MLS) club Portland Timbers. The Portland Timbers 2 play at Merlo Field.

The Portland Timbers U23s have been playing in the Premier Development League since 2010 and share Providence Park with the MLS Timbers.

In 2012, Portland Thorns FC and the National Women's Soccer League were officially formed, with both the team and the league beginning play in 2013. The Thorns won the championship in the inaugural NWSL season, and have led the league in attendance in each of its first three seasons.

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.

Established in 2015 the Portland Pickles are an active team in the GWL (Great West League). The Pickles play at Walker Stadium located inside Lents Park in SE 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.

List of current teams[edit]

Portland area sports teams
Club Sport League Championships Venue Founded Attendance
Portland Thorns FC Women's soccer National Women's Soccer League 1 (2013) Providence Park 2012 13,320
Portland Timbers Soccer Major League Soccer 1 (2015) Providence Park 2009 20,806
Portland Timbers 2 Soccer USL 0 Merlo Field 2014 2,323
Portland Timbers U23s Soccer 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]

  • Australian rules football. Portland is home to the Portland Australian Rules Football Club of the USAFL, one of the oldest in the United States, having formed in 1998. The club includes both a men's team (Portland Steelheads) and a women's team (Portland Sockeyes). The Portland Steelheads and Sockeyes are both two time National Champions (winning in 2015 & 2016). The club also runs a small metro footy league.[3] Portland holds the record attendance for an Australian Rules Football match (14,787), when visiting Australian Football League clubs Melbourne and West Coast Eagles competed at Civic Stadium in 1990.
  • Roller derby. The Rose City Rollers is an all-female Women's Flat Track Derby Association-affiliated league founded in 2004 with over 400 members. It consists of four home teams: the Heartless Heathers, the Break Neck Betties, the High Rollers, and the Guns N Rollers as well as the All-Star traveling team, the Wheels of Justice and the Axles of Annihilation the Travel B-Team, who represent the league 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.
  • Rugby League- Rose City Rugby League were formed in 2010 and are part of the AMNRL's Western Expansion.[4]
  • Rugby Union. Portland is home to four senior-level men's rugby union football clubs and two women's clubs that are sanctioned members of USA Rugby. In men's rugby, the Oregon Sports Union (ORSU) Rugby Club (ORSU Jesters)Portland Rugby Football Club (Oregon) [http://www.portlandrugby.org ("Pigs")], and the Eastside Tsunami compete in Division II of the Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union (PNRFU) [1]. Additionally, a gay and inclusive team, the Portland Lumberjacks compete in PNRFU men's division III [2]. The ORSU Women's Rugby team[3] competes in Women's Division I while the Portland Lady Pigs compete in Women's Division II. The ORSU Women have been ranked in the top ten nationally since 2007.
  • Ultimate Frisbee. The Portland Stags play in the MLU, competing in the western conference.
  • Underwater Hockey, The Portland Rockfish "rock" the Underwater Hockey World. Portland is also home to many of the Team Oregon state players.[5] You can check out their regular training.[6]
  • Tennis. Team Portland Tennis[7] 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 [4], 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.
  • Paintball. The Portland Naughty Dogs compete in the National Professional Paintball League in a variety of tournaments around the U.S.
  • Mixed Martial Arts. Portland is also known as a hub for MMA. It's the site of Team Quest, a training camp founded by MMA legends such as Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, and Matt Lindland. Lindland was also founder and coach of the Portland Wolfpack, Portland's team in the now defunct International Fight League. Portland also is host to the semi-annual Sportfight events which frequently showcase the best up and coming fighters in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Electric Hockey. Developed in Northern Europe, Electric Hockey is a new sport designed specifically for power chair users. Providing opportunity for those experiencing disabilities, Electric Hockey utilizes a small and fast wooden cart and has game play similar to hockey. Local nonprofit Incight facilitates game play as part of their programming.

Defunct sports teams[edit]

Baseball[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 and is now known as the El Paso Chihuahuas, 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 1978–1993, and finally from 2001–2010. 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, at the time a record amount for a minor league franchise. The most recent Beavers franchise also played at Civic Stadium. The original Beavers stadium was Vaughn Street Park located in northwest Portland. The Beavers 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 for the 2001 season, the Rockies relocated to Pasco, Washington to become the Tri-City Dust Devils. The final version of the Beavers also played in Civic Stadium, renamed PGE Park upon their arrival. After the city announced plans to renovate PGE Park to a soccer-specific stadium for the Timbers, and a proposed park for the Beavers failed to materialize, the team moved to Tucson and then to El Paso.

Football[edit]

In 2013, it was announced that the Arena Football League (AFL) was expanding to Portland and the Portland Thunder was originally owned by Terry Emmert.[8] The Thunder's first game occurred on March 17, 2014, against the San Jose SaberCats at Portland's Moda Center.[9] Prior to the 2016 season, the AFL took over operations of the Thunder while looking for new local ownership. The team then changed its name to the Portland Steel for the 2016 AFL season.[10] The team folded after the 2016 season.

Prior to the Portland Thunder/Steel, Portland had the Arena Football League team the Portland Forest Dragons. In years of 1997, 1998, and 1999, the Forest Dragons compiled records of 2–12, 4–10, and 7–7, never making the playoffs while in Portland. During the 1998 season the team featured receiver Oronde Gadsden, who won the league's Rookie of the Year award, and went on to sign with the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

Other defunct teams[edit]

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.

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. ^ http://www.portlandfooty.com/
  4. ^ http://www.americanrugbynews.com/artman/publish/rugby_league/RL_Hopes_To_Move_West.shtml
  5. ^ https://oregonunderwaterhockey.wordpress.com/
  6. ^ http://www.meetup.com/Portland-Underwater-Hockey/
  7. ^ http://www.teamportland-tennis.org
  8. ^ Harbarger, Holly (5 March 2014). "Terry Emmert's arena football aspiration examined: Clackamas County in the news". Portland, Oregon. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Odem, Joel (31 January 2014). "Portland Thunder to begin training camp Feb. 25". OregonLive.com. Portland, Oregon: The Oregonian. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Portland AFL Organization Rebrands to Steel". OurSportsCentral. February 24, 2016.