The Sports Bra owner creates petition to bring WNBA team to Portland
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - It’s been more than 20 years since the Rose City has had a professional women’s basketball team.
First, it was the Portland Power, then, the Portland Fire. Now, memorabilia from decades past hangs at the country’s first women’s sports bar, The Sports Bra, in Northeast Portland.
“Born and raised here in Portland and when we had the Portland Power was the ABL team, we went to all the games. My dad and I went to all the games. Then the Portland Fire came through, we went to all the games, my friends and I, my family and I,” Jenny Nguyen, the owner of The Sports Bra, said.
Nguyen thinks it’s about time we brought a professional women’s team back to Portland as the WNBA considers expanding the league.
“I feel like Portland is literally a no-brainer for the next team. It’s got a built-in rivalry with Seattle we’re obviously a hub for women’s sports fans,” Nguyen said.
So, Nguyen created an online petition to show the WNBA just how eager Portlanders are and it’s gaining traction.
“What WNBA wants to see is butts in seats right? and that’s who these folks are,” she said.
This comes a month after Senator Ron Wyden hosted the WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert at The Sports Bra, to meet athletes and talk about how Oregon and Portland have been an epicenter for women’s sports.
“We all packed them into the Sports Bra and just tried to petition to the WNBA commissioner to make a case for Portland and it went really well,” she said.
Nguyen said having a WNBA team here would be a slam dunk for the city and an inspiration for professional basketball players.
“The more girls that see that, the more they think, ‘oh, that could be me. I don’t have to drop out when I’m 16 because sports are for boys only.’ Like, ‘there’s a future for me in there and they can see themselves in that,’” she said.
Before her visit to Portland last month, Engelbert acknowledged Portland’s enthusiasm for women’s sports, but a potential WNBA expansion is still years away.
If you want to sign the petition, click here.
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