WNBA commissioner visits Portland amid buzz about a new team

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 4:01 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The hope of more hoops is coming to Oregon.

Portland on Monday welcomed WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

The visit comes as Portland officials hope for a chance to bring a women’s basketball team to town and that process starts by convincing the commissioner of the league.

The Oregon delegation is expected to use the Portland Thorns’ success as a selling point.

The Thorns have some of the highest attendance numbers in women’s pro soccer.

Senator Ron Wyden is spearheading the effort to bring the WNBA to Portland and is already envisioning the rivalry with the team up north.

“Can you imagine the competition between women in Portland and women in Seattle? That will be an incredible thrill. That will be vintage Pacific Northwest basketball,” said Wyden.

The meeting happened Monday at the country’s first “women’s sports”-focused bar, The Sports Bra Pub.

Senator Wyden said once the commissioner sees what Portland has to offer, he believes the city will make the list for one of the next new franchises.

The hope is a WNBA team in Portland will be a big boost to local business and a great draw for fans.

Portland did have a WNBA team more than 20 years ago.

“The Fire” played in Portland from 2000 to 2002.