Trail Blazers Opening Night is Finally Here
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 29, 2014 — It’s finally opening night for the Trail Blazers, and Rip City is ready.
The Blazers ended last season with success, making it to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Damian Lillard’s incredible game-winning shot in Game 6 of the first round of playoffs was voted by NBA fans Top Game of the Year.
Now Portland is ready for their team to take it to the championship. Here’s a roundup of coverage so far:
Will Barton embraces role of 'The People's Champ,' but he wants more—a great piece by The Oregonian’s Andrew Theen.
Portland Could Potentially Host a World-Class Cycling Event
THURSDAY, AUG. 21, 2014 — Portland could host a world-class cycling event — the Grand Prix of Portland — in August 2015.
Josh Alpert, the mayor’s director of strategic initiatives, has been working with organizers to make the race happen. He says there’s a lot of work to be done if the 115-mile, one-day Tour de France-esque race is going to happen in downtown Portland.
“The potential of bringing an event like this to one of the world’s great bicycling cities is too good to pass up,” Alpert said. “This could be the next iteration of shining the world spotlight on this great city.”
Mayor Charlie Hales has encouraged high-profile sport events — the Major League Soccer All-Star Game, the BMX bike and skateboarding Dew Tour event, and hopefully the NBA All-Star Game — to come to Portland.
Cycling in particular would be a good fit, Hales said, noting that among the city’s many outdoor and athletic companies is Rapha Performance Roadwear, one of the world’s top road bicycle racing gear companies. Its headquarters are in Portland and London.
“It’s a great fit,” Hales said. “We’re an outdoors state. We’re an active city.”
Dew Tour a Hit in Downtown Portland
MONDAY, AUG. 18, 2014 — Southwest Broadway this weekend was transformed into skateboard and BMX courses for the Portland stop of the national Dew Tour.
Over the two-day event, roughly 16,000 fans lined barriers to catch each trick, flip and twist as some of the United States’ top competitors — joined by two from Australia, two from Canada and one from Puerto Rico — competed for the Dew Cup.
Ryan Scheckler, from California, took first in the skateboard streetstyle, retaining his championship status for the third consecutive year. Dennis Enarson, from California, took first in the BMX streetstyle competition.
“This event puts a national spotlight on Portland, and on our skateboard and BMX culture,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “The Major League Soccer All-Star Game, earlier this month, did the same. The national and international sports world has been turning toward Portland and seeing us as a major player. We love showing off this city.”
Portland native Ben Hucke competed in the BMX streetstyle event. In Portland, BMX-ers ride at Lumberyard Bike Park on Northeast 82nd Avenue draws riders to its jump lines, pump tracks, skill sections, and technical trail riding. The iconic, almost 25-year-old Burnside Skatepark under the Burnside Bridge has made Portland a destination for skateboarders.
In June, the 10th anniversary Dew Tour kicked off in Ocean City, Md. This weekend it returned to Portland after a two-year absence. Its next stop is Brooklyn, N.Y., Sept. 20-21, then Breckenridge, Colo., Dec. 11-14.
Thorns Advance to Playoff Berth
MONDAY, AUG. 18, 2014 – The Portland Thorns needed a win against arch rivals the Seattle Reign to advance to the Northwest Soccer League Playoffs. A tie or a loss would have drawn the season to a close.
Calling Alex Morgan.
The star forward scored the goal that advances the Thorns to the playoff in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over the Reign at Providence Park. Morgan put in a header past the Reign's keeper Hope Solo for the only score of the day.
On the other end of the pitch, Thorns keeper Nadine Angerer defended the Reign’s every response, notching five saves.
The win puts the Thorns into the NWSL playoffs again this year.
You Do That Dew Tour That You Do So Well
FRIDAY, AUG. 15, 2014 – Portland plays host to the Dew Tour this Saturday and Sunday, welcoming the nation’s best in BMX and skateboarding.
“This has been the ‘Sports Town USA’ year for Portland,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “The Thorns win the women’s soccer tournament; we host one of Germany’s great football clubs for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game; and the Blazer announce this week that Portland is in the hunt for the NBA All-Stars.”
Broadway is being transformed into an outdoor venue for the tour’s Toyota City Championships, which will include a downhill streetstyle course and a fresh format in BMX dirt.
Dew Tour’s streetstyle event takes competition back to its roots by using real-life street obstacles on a downhill course that makes a thrilling experience for both the athletes and fans alike.
The new format in BMX dirt opens up the competition for athletes to throw down their best bangers and go head-to-head in a heated session unlike anything you’ve seen at Dew Tour before.
You can watch the action live at DewTour.com/LIVE or come downtown to watch the fun live!
Blazers Make Bid for NBA All-Star Game
AUGUST 15, 2014—The Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday announced they had submitted a bid to host either the 2017 or 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which could bring the exhibition game with all the Western and Eastern conferences’ best players to Rip City.
Mayor Charlie Hales in July was filmed for a video the Blazers produced to support their bid.
“The Major League Soccer All-Star Game was a warm-up,” Hales said. “It was great! People absolutely loved it. And the NBA All-Star Game would be bigger and better.
“These kinds of events fire up the community," he added. "It wasn’t just the game, it was the carnival air throughout the city. Street performers, opera, musicians, people dancing: The MLS All-Star Game let Portlanders celebrate Portland. And the NBA All-Star Game would, too.”
The Blazers’ bid campaign is themed, “We Got Next,” hyping Portland as a top-10 fastest-growing city in the United States, with sportswear giants — Nike, adidas, Columbia — headquartered in the area. The campaign also notes the area’s attractions: Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, Columbia Gorge, more than 400 wineries and 60 breweries.
The Oregonian reports that Portland’s bid brought together various entities, including the city, Metro, Oregon Convention Center and Oregon Sports Authority, with Mayor Hales ushering the parties together.
“We love showing off Portland,” Hales said. “The All-Star game would bring with it a wide array of international media, who’d get to see this city at its best.”
Photo Album: Portland Welcomes MLS All-Star Game, Portland Style
AUGUST 7, 2014— The best of American soccer came to Portland on Wednesday for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game, featuring the best domestic players of the American league versus the Bayern München football club of Germany.
The sold-out crowd came from around the world to watch 17 players who competed in the World Cup in Brazil, as well as six who helped Germany win the Cup. Eyes in 150 countries watched the American league win, 2-1.
“What a great night,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, who walked to Providence Park from a pre-game party that featured local roaster Stumptown Coffee and snacks from Portland eateries Lardo and Pok Pok.
Along the walk he passed the Portland band Lovebomb Go-Go; singers from the Portland Opera; Portland’s own Darth Vader helmet-wearing, bagpipes-playing unicyclist; and scores of Timbers and Thorns fans.
“I’m glad tonight the international eye is on Portland,” he said.
World’s Eyes on Portland for MLS All-Star Game
THURSDAY, AUG. 7, 2014 – The best of American soccer came to Portland yesterday for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game, which featured the best domestic players vs. the Bayern Munich football club of Germany.
And in case you doubted that the world was watching, here’s the coverage from the Indo-Asian News Service, India’s largest independent news service. The story also quotes from the Xinhua news service of China:
Portland (United States), Aug 7: American footballer Landon Donovan scored in the second half to help the MLS All-Stars team beat German giants Bayern Munich 2-1 at Providence Park, Portland. Robert Lewandowski scored in the eighth minute to give Bayern an early lead Wednesday. MLS All-Stars found their rhythm in the second half, levelling the match with a powerful shot from Bradley Wright-Phillips, reports Xinhua.
Donovan found a chance in the 70th minute and his right-footed shot from the centre of the box went straight to the goal. It was the sixth goal for Donovan in MLS All-Stars games, tying Brian McBride, who is the all-time leader in the league’s history.
Thorns Crowd Breaks Record, Team Fights for a Win
AUGUST 5, 2014—In front of a record-breaking crowd Sunday night, the Portland Thorns came back from an earlier loss with a 1-0 win over the Houston Dash.
The National Women’s Soccer League game attracted 19,123 fans—smashing the previous league record, also held by Portland, of 17,619.
“The Thorns players showed dedication and perseverance—the mark of a great team,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “And I’m sure a nearly full stadium didn’t hurt.”
Damian Lillard's Winning Playoff Shot Voted No. 1 by NBA Fans
AUGUST 1, 2014—NBA fans have voted Damian Lillard’s incredible game-winning shot against the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of the NBA playoffs the Top Game of the Year.
In its 2013-14 NBA Season Top Games of the Year feature on NBA TV last night, it was revealed that fans voted the Portland Trail Blazers' game No. 1 of 10 contenders.
Mayor Joins International Celebration for Track and Field Championships in Eugene
TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2014 — Portland Mayor Charlie Hales on Monday joined the international celebration in Eugene celebrating the United States’ return to hosting the International Association of Athletics Federations World Junior Championships track and field meet.
The kick-off dinner Monday night welcomed Oregon leadership — including Hales and Gov. John Kitzhaber — and heads of federation’s more than 200 members. Track and field events began today at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus, and continue through Sunday.
The international championships haven’t been held in the U.S. since 1992, in Boston. Eugene’s winning bid brought the 15th World Junior Championships back to the country, hosting 1,540 athletes from 167 countries. And in an Oregon coup, Portland will host the 2016 World Indoor Track and Field Championships. Now Eugene is bidding for the 2019 World Championships.
“Eugene is Track Town U.S.A., Portland is home to the world’s greatest outdoor and athletic companies,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “It’s a great fit. Oregonians have been running since before it was cool. We’re an outdoors state. It’s part of our culture.”
Federation president Lamine Diack, who arrived in Portland from Senegal on Thursday, said for years he’d wanted to hold an event in the United States.
“It has been my dream to have an IAAF event in the U.S.A.,” Diack said at a press conference. “The World Junior Championships this week marks an important moment for the future of track and field in the U.S.A., the most powerful athletics nation in the world.”
Two Timbers Players Named to MLS All-Star Team; Game in Portland
JULY 19, 2014—Two Portland Timbers players have been named to the MLS All-Star team that next month will play in the Major League Soccer’s star-filled match against the Bayern München football club of Germany.
Timbers captain Will Johnson and midfielder Diego Valeri will play under their own coach, Caleb Porter, who is coaching the MLS team since the game will be in Portland. Last year Johnson was a fan pick for the All-Star team.
World Cup Viewing Party in Pioneer Square Attracts Thousands
JULY 14, 2014—Thousands of soccer fans packed in to Portland’s Living Room—Pioneer Courthouse Square—Sunday afternoon to watch Germany and Argentina face off in the finals of the 2014 Fifa World Cup.
Roundhouse, a creative agency, and Adidas put on the party, which was expected to host 7,000 people despite the rainy weather.
“The energy here is outstanding,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, who donned his Germany shirt and attended the party with First Lady Nancy Hales. “Portland has become such a sport city and such a soccer city, and this is exactly what Pioneer Courthouse Square is for.”
Dew Tour Returns to Portland, Showcased Downtown
JULY 2, 2014 — Dew Tour, the street-style skateboard and bike competition, for its 10th anniversary is returning to Portland after a brief hiatus.
From Aug. 16 to 18, thousands of visitors—and the national spotlight—will be in downtown Portland. The event is free for Portlanders to enjoy.
In Most Dramatic Game Yet, Blazers Beat Houston By 1
MAY 4, 2014—In a heart-stopping, earth-shattering, crowd-stunning win, Damian Lillard took a shot with less than a second left on the clock to steal Game 6 of the NBA playoffs from the Houston Rockets last night, garnering a 99-98 win.
Reports The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman: “He grabbed the microphone and released two words and one big exhale, exorcising the ghosts of seasons past.
‘Riiiiiiiiip Ciiiiiiiity,’ Damian Lillard screamed. And the sellout crowd went nuts.”
“Enough said,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “Besides, ‘Incredible.’”
Blazers Take Game 2 of NBA Playoffs, 112-105
APRIL 24, 2014— Repeating their win—but less dramatically than Sunday night’s opener—the Portland Trail Blazers last night beat the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the NBA playoff series 112-105.
Mayor Charlie Hales showed his support at City Council on Wednesday, donning a Blazers jacket for the meeting.
“Keep it up, Blazers!” Hales said.
The next game in the series is Friday.
Blazers Beat Rockets on Home Court in Game 1 of Playoffs
APRIL 20, 2014—The Portland Trail Blazers came out of the edge-of-your-seat NBA playoff game against the Houston Rockets Sunday night with a 122-120 win in overtime.
The crowd of 18,240 Rip City fans were euphoric about the upset; sports pundits had picked the Rockets as an easy winner. Read details in The Oregonian’s coverage.
“What an incredible win,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “I’m with the rest of Rip City rooting for our Blazers to keep it up for the rest of the playoffs.”
Timbers Fall to Real Salt Lake in Finals
NOVEMEBER 25, 2013—The Timbers ended their season Sunday night, falling to the Real Salt Lake, 5-2 aggregate.
“The team put forth an incredible effort,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “They did their fans and their city proud.”
Portland Wins Bid for 2016 World Indoor Track & Field Championships
NOVEMBER 15, 2013 — Portland will host the 2016 World Indoor Track & Field Championships, showcasing the city to an international audience.
"This is an incredible opportunity for Portland," Mayor Charlie Hales said. "It's an economic opportunity, and the international media presence will be invaluable."
The Oregonian’s Ken Goe writes that Vin Lananna, president of TrackTown USA, the organizing committee that brought to Eugene the 2008 and ’12 U.S. Olympic Trials for Track & Field, has big ambitions for Oregon’s track scene.
“We’re an athletic city,” Hales said, noting Adidas headquarters in Portland, Nike headquarters in the region, and a slew of other outdoor and athletic companies: Columbia, Gerber outdoor geer, Keen Footware, Rapha bike gear, and many, many more.
“And we’re a city of crazy sports fans,” the mayor added, citing the dedicated Timbers Army and Thorns and Blazers fans.
Timbers Advance to MLS Western Conference Finals
NOVEMBER 7, 2013—The Portland Timbers beat rival Seattle Sounders FC on Thursday in an action-packed home game — sending the Timbers Army into an ecstatic frenzy and advancing the team to the MLS Cup playoff Western Conference finals.
Timbers Advance in Playoffs, Finish First in Western Conference
OCTOBER 26, 2013—The Timbers defeated Chivas USA 5-0 on Saturday to advance in the Major League Soccer Cup Playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference with a 14-5-15 record.
Mayor Charlie Hales praised the team for the eight-game winning streak that led the Timbers to the 34-game MLS record for fewest losses, set by the LA Galaxy in 2011.
“These guys showed athleticism and commitment,” Hales said. “They made their city proud. The Timbers Army and all Portlanders will be cheering them through the finals.”
The team will face rival Seattle Sounders FC in the conference semifinals.
ESPN Profiles Portland Thorns—NWSL Champions
SEPTEMBER 8, 2013—ESPN has profiled the Portland Thorns championship win and the Portland fans who support the new team.
ESPN writer Graham Hays set up the odds the Thorns faced prior to their National Women’s Soccer League championship win last week:
“Down two goals early in a semifinal against FC Kansas City, they rallied to win in overtime on the road.
“Down to 10 players for most of the second half in Saturday's championship game, they dug in on the road.
“Down two stars with Heath and Alex Morgan limited by injuries, well, let's not get crazy. Eighty percent of Heath or Morgan is still something of a luxury, as Saturday made clear.”
Hays noted the Portland fans supported their teams with more gusto than any other city in the new National Women’s Soccer League.
“More than 16,000 fans showed up for Portland's first home game of the season. And they kept coming, fueling attendance marks that dwarfed the other teams in the league. It was a unique experience for a women's league.”
Mayor Charlie Hales says the soccer frenzy in Portland was fueled by a women’s team—and reached overdrive with a championship-winning team.
“It’s an exciting time to be a sports fan in Portland,” Hales said. “The Thorns and Timbers—and the Blazers—and their dedicated fan bases show what a sports city Portland is. And thanks to the Thorns, it’s a city of champions.”
Thorns Beat New York to Become First-Ever NWSL Champions
AUGUST 31, 2013—The Portland Thorns on Saturday night in New York beat the home team 2-0 to become the first National Women’s Soccer League champions.
Both the Thorns and the National Women’s Soccer League were established in 2012. The Thorns’ dramatic win over Kansas City last week advanced the Portland team to the league’s first championship game.
“This was another exciting match that ended in an historic win for Portland,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “We’re so proud of the players, making their mark in just four months. As they celebrate, their city celebrates with them.”
Here's a great photo essay by The Oregonian.
Thorns Capture Close Win to Advance to League Championship Game
AUGUST 24, 2013—The Portland Thorns came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Kansas City FC in overtime on their home turf, 3-2.
In the first year of the United States’ women’s soccer league, the Thorns are the first team to advance to the championships. On Aug. 31 they’ll play the winner of the Western New York versus Sky Blue game.
"Anytime you go down 2-0, it's a moment where you either throw the towel in or you stand up and fight," Thorns Coach Cindy Parlow Cone told The Oregonian’s Geoffrey Arnold. "They were standing up and fighting and believing in each other and believing in themselves. You could see it on the field. They were clapping their hands, telling everyone 'We got this. We're okay. We can do this.' "
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said the Thorns’ dramatic win was an historic moment for Portland sports, as well as for soccer.
“For a new league, a dramatic win shows the value of giving these athletes a chance to compete professionally,” Hales said. “I’m excited to watch the championship game.”
Portland Thorns Begin Debut Season against FC Kansas City
APRIL 12, 2013 — The Portland Thorns, the city’s new women’s soccer team, tomorrow begin their inaugural season in the new National Women’s Soccer League.
“This is an exciting time for Portland — and national — sports,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “With a strong men’s soccer league established, women finally have the chance to come out kicking.”