When will Portland get another major league team?

I was born and raised in Portland, as was my father, his father, and his father before him. I am a diehard, lifelong Portland Trail Blazers fan, but I want another major league team in this town. IIRC, Portland is the largest market with only one major league team.

Former mayor Vera Katz, a native New Yorker, was a huge baseball fan. She tried to woo the Expos here. Current mayor Tom Potter is an idiot. Mayor-Elect Sam Adams is a Katz protege, but I don’t know if he is a baseball fan. We’ve had the Portland Beavers since my great-grandfather’s days, but they are not MLB.

When the aforementioned Expos were looking to relocate and Katz was trying to woo them, I remember seeing a comment on the Internet from a Washington-DC area fan. Someone was arguing with him (it might have been me) that he already had the Orioles and the DC fan mentioned that, with traffic, Baltimore was an hour away! People not from here probably think Seattle and Portland are suburbs of each other, but they are 168 miles apart. That is a two-and-a-half hour drive up I-5, if the traffic is perfect, which it usually ain’t. I am still mad over the the Nationals decision and I am glad they suck.

The current owner of the Beavers is also the owner of the Portland Timbers, a minor league soccer team. They share the same stadium as well as owner. He is trying to ship the Beavers to an outer area and convert the PGE Park(nee Civic Stadium) to soccer only, in an effort to woo MLS. Woohoo![/sarcasm]

The Portland Winter Hawks, the once proud minor league hockey team of the city, has fallen on hard times. Blazer owner Paul Allen has tried to get an NHL team in the past and may try to do so again. The Rose Garden could easily be a dual sport stadium.

The NFL looks like an impossible get at this point. They aren’t looking to expand/relocate except to LA.

We have plenty of minor league teams, but I want a major league team, dammit!

I think we’re lucky if we can keep the Blazers in Portland.

Well, with the insane expansion of the NHL, you’re probably likely to see an NHL team in Portland one day. That would make the most sense. You’ve already got the Rose Garden Arena.

You would think that would be the case, the normal rules of logic don’t seem to apply to the NHL. Logically, Portland and/or Seattle should’ve gotten a franchise years ago. However, in its obsession to expand hockey into areas of the U.S. that maybe see a snow flurry once every twenty years, the NHL never gave the Pacific Northwest even a minute’s thought. Also, since the NHL now seems to have stopped it expansion as it tries to stabilize around its existing franchises, I don’t see the league moving into Portland or the Seattle/Tacoma area soon.

As for landing a MLB franchise, I’d like to see Portland get a team mainly because it would make for a nice regional rivalry with the Mariners. However, MLB also isn’t expanding right now and even if it was, Portland would have to get in line behind (among others) Las Vegas, San Antonio, and possibly even Sacramento. You might have a better chance in having an existing franchise like the Florida Marlins move but, in the case of the Marlins, I don’t know if MLB want to give up on the entire South Florida market in exchange for the considerably smaller Portland area.

In order of probability:

1> NHL… The Rose Garden was built to support an NHL/NBA duel team system. The infrastructure is in place. Paul Allen has the money to make this happen.

2> MLS… despite your reluctance, Portland is a big soccer town. It’s not unusual for the US Soccer Powers that be to go out of their way to include Portland in exhibitions. We even got some World Cup games the last time they were in the US.

3> MLB… One word- Stadium! Where are we going to build it? More importantly- how are we going to fund it? We don’t have a major league capacity stadium, and getting one built, is extremely difficult. It’s something a lot of people want, nobody wants to pay for. This was Vera Katz’s main difficulty. Especially as she was trying to push for a MLB stadium in the midst of an education funding crisis. It’s just going to be a hard sell, and there is no way that we’re going to get a team without a solid plan to build the stadium in place, approved by the voters.

4> NFL… dare to dream. Not happening.

Quite frankly, while the NHL and MLS really seem like possibilities; MLB I think is a pipe dream and, to repeat the NFL is not coming to Portland anytime soon.

Man, I love living in a town with minor league baseball and soccer (and hockey too I guess, but I never go to the games). Sure, I’d love it if we could make the jump to the Majors, but then I think games would turn into something other than a fun Summer outing and turn into “an event”.

Now, I get the chance to go to 3-4 baseball games a year. With ticket prices and parking, I’m not sure I would want to do that with a Major League team.

The NHL did everything it could to stop the NAshville Predators from moving to the world’s biggest hockey market (southern Ontario) so you can be darn sure Portland and Seattle are way down the list. It’s apparently much more important to have teams playing to 8,000 fans a night in Raleign, Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta.

In the case of the other leagues, however (and in the NHL most of the time) the discussion is, as it usually does, going in the wrong direction; **the league does not choose where it expands to. Rich people who want franchises choose where it expands to. ** Portland will get a baseball team, or a football team, when and if a very rich person comes along who wants to have a team in Portland. The leagues - especially the NFL, which has already lost this issue in court - have to go where the rich guys are.

If you have, or can get, enough money to buy a team or pay an expansion fee and set one up AND have a suitable stadium with luxury boxes and all that crap constructed mostly on the public dime, you can get a team. It’s rare that the league would turn away from that, as in the case of Jim Balsillie and the Predators.

RickJay, even if God Himself suddenly showed up and offered to build a stadium and fund an expansion in Portland for an NFL team, the NFL wouldn’t go there. Despite the fact that Portland itself is a decent sized market, there is a questionable amount of population in the surrounding draw area to support a team that needs to sell upwards of 40,000 seats for a game at the prices the NFL games go for. NFL teams (and to much the same extent, MLB teams) draw not just from the metropolis, but also from the surrounding population.

So it isn’t just about who has the money, although as the recent move of the Sonics to Oklahoma shows, if you have a sugar daddy, it sure does help.

I’m one of the rare American soccer fans and I’ve been keeping an eye on MLS’s expansion plans. I think the odds are pretty good that you guys will wind up with a team in their next round of expansion in 2012. If they come, I would recommend giving it a try, despite your misgivings. Seattle is coming into the league next year so you guys would have nice rivalry. Plus it looks like MLS may finally let its teams spend some money in the coming years, so there is a chance that you may actually get a chance to see some good players.

Paul Allen was all but begged to apply for an NHL franchise back in the expansion frenzy of the mid to late 90s. He didn’t want one.

maybe eventually. The NHL is looking hard at Las Vegas at the moment (much more seriously than the other leagues have), and there are still a lot of rumors about putting another canadian team in Hamilton, ON.

Please stop saying Hamilton is going to get a NHL team. It isn’t going to happen, at least not in my lifetime. The Copps Coliseum is not a good arena by modern day NHL standards. And because of Hamilton being half way between Toronto and Buffalo, it will be a dead zone with prohibitive costs to go in there.

That said, I have zero doubt that southern Ontario could support another hockey team- for sure they could but the NHL needs stability or even a small contraction to get things set.

I didn’t say they were getting one. I called them rumors for a reason. I think you’re probably right, for the record. I’ll leave it to HF boards to debate it. and debate it and debate it.

The Winter Hawks aren’t a minor league hockey team. They are a Canadian junior hockey team (age 20 and under) playing in the Western Hockey League.

Major Junior Hockey even… I actually was going to make this distinction, but gave up on this argument long ago. Nobody ever seems to get it when i try to explain.

I used to be a huge Winterhawks fan. Now I just don’t hve the cash to go to games anymore, and they’re a hard team to follow. Not because of the wins/losses but because of the nature of the league and player turnover- I never know who I’m watching, who’s good, who’s not, etc.

(However, I’ll give you all you want about Brent Belecki Adam Deadmarsh and Marty Standish :slight_smile: )