Congratulations to the 2017 All Star Coach Winner, Jeni O'Neil who takes home $5,000 for her athletic program! Read more about Jeni at the link below.
Excitement is growing in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle’s unnamed NHL expansion team, set to debut in the 2021-22 season, are starting to get the initial necessities of the franchise together. Today, the organization announced the reveal of their new General Manager, Ron Francis, through a press conference that was also streamed on Twitter.
Francis has a storied career within the hockey world. Drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 1981 NHL draft, Francis was able to sustain a 23 year career in the league, finishing with 1798 points. Since retiring, Francis has spent time as the Carolina Hurricanes’ GM and president of hockey operations from 2014 to 2018.
Not only is it big news for the yet to be named Seattle hockey team, the rest of the Pacific Northwest showcased their excitement on social media.
I could not be more excited to welcome new @NHLSeattle_ General Manger Ron Francis to Seattle! I can’t wait for Ron, who took home 2 Stanley Cups himself, to bring the cup back home where it belongs – here in Seattle! pic.twitter.com/0LucHm1au0— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) July 18, 2019
Reports were out two days ago that NHL Hall of Famer Ron Francis would be named GM of the new NHL Seattle franchise.
"After seven months of due diligence, research, conversations, interviews and evaluation, we are thrilled to announce Ron as our GM," said NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke.
You can watch the introductory press conference from this morning right here:
NBC Sports also has a good story on what this hire means for the franchise and what kind of GM he will be.
According to a report from the Seattle Times, the new NHL Seattle team has named their General Manager: Ron Francis.
BREAKING: @NHLSeattle_ will name Ron Francis its first general manager. Francis, who was GM in Carolina from 2014-18, played in the NHL for 22 seasons and is fifth all time in points. @GeoffBakerTIMES story: https://t.co/eOytcscl78— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) July 17, 2019
Francis played in the NHL for an impressive 22 years and was most recently the GM for the Carolina Hurricanes. You can read more about his departure from Carolina, here.
This will be the first of many moves for the new expansion team as they begin to build out their new franchise.
You can get more about the Francis hire from the Seattle Times.
The summer is heating up but good thing Standard TV and Appliance has known how to cool since 1947.
We are teaming up with Standard TV and Appliance to give away a Frigidaire upright freezer that will keep anything chilled this summer!
Enter for your chance to win below. Oregon based and family owned since 1947, Standard TV and Appliance. Official Rules
Editor's Note: Tune in to The Bridge, tonight at 6pm for more on baseball in Portland including the Delta Dome history, updates on the Hillsboro Hops as well as the Portland Diamond Project!
Do you ever get frustrated that Portland doesn’t have an NFL team? A major-league baseball team?
Well, let me tell you how close we came to having both, way back decades ago –- back at a time when even politicians were on board for an exciting Portland sports future.
It was 1964 and the Houston Astrodome was being built and everyone knew that at some point, major-league sports had to come to the Pacific Northwest. And didn't a domed stadium seem like the right way to get them?
Seattle and Portland were on equal sports footing at that time – minor-league baseball franchises in the Pacific Coast League and minor-league hockey in the Western Hockey League. Seattle was still three years away from landing the NBA Sonics.
The idea of a domed stadium was originally part of a plan for a Portland bid to host the summer Olympics, which in those days was still an affordable plan. The centerpiece of that bid was a domed stadium in Delta Park, north of Portland, surrounded by a myriad of other sporting venues.
Eventually, when it was apparent the Olympic bid was going nowhere, people began to get the idea of chasing pro football and major-league baseball – beating Seattle to the punch.
Then-governor Mark Hatfield and Portland mayor Terry Shrunk were behind the proposal and pushed hard for it and a hastily put-together campaign began -- to get a ballot measure passed in the city to fund what was then a $25-million project.
The 46,000-seat stadium would feature a dome that would be plexiglass and would not enclose the stadium – just cover it. There was to be a breezeway between the roof and the seating area, meaning it would not have been climate controlled. Still, for its time, it was a very innovative project.
Even better, there was a very real possibility of big-league sports being lured to Portland.
The American Football League Oakland Raiders were still uncertain about their future in that city and the prevailing rumor was that their youthful general manager, Al Davis, was ready to load the moving van and bring the team to Portland if the local ballot measure passed.
Believe it or not, in 1964 that didn’t bring about a whole lot of excitement. Nobody knew at that time the AFL, behind Davis as its commissioner, would force a merger and become part of the NFL. In fact, the NFL wasn’t even that big of a deal in those days.
There was also hope for a major-league baseball team because there were franchises in trouble and rumors of expansion.
Sadly – for sports fans at least – the ballot measure failed in Portland by fewer than 10,000 votes. Later, the same measure was put up for a vote in Multnomah County and failed by about the same margin.
Seattle, of course, landed the MLB Pilots in 1969 and they played in tiny Sicks’ Stadium, the Triple-A ballpark. That team left after one season and Seattle didn’t get an NFL or big-league baseball team until after the Kingdome was built in 1976.
I’m convinced Portland could have beaten Seattle into both leagues with that dome.
And that ballot measure should have passed in Portland, by the way, but mistakes were made.
First off, the advocates didn’t do a very good job of convincing Portlanders that big-league teams could be lured to the stadium, But history shows they probably could have – a domed stadium would have been impossible for expansion-minded NFL and MLB owners to pass up.
Yes, even in those days, it was difficult to convince the locals we could actually become a big-league city.
The biggest reason for the measure’s defeat, though, was the location. First of all, it would have been better to get the stadium measure passed without naming a location.
Delta Park was too much to overcome. The fact that 1964 was fewer than 20 years after the Vanport flood, which saw the area of Delta Park under water, really hurt the effort. Even though they were assured that Columbia River dams would keep that tragic event from happening again, too many people were worried the new stadium would end up floating away in a flood. There were also complaints at the time that the stadium would be closer to Vancouver -- which was not paying any part of the bill -- than Portland.
As it turns out, the area has never been flooded and the city of Portland has pretty much extended past Delta Park. And Portland remains pretty much a minor-league town other than the Trail Blazers.
Because of a paltry 10,000 votes.
When Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson isn’t launching 53-yard bombs to Tyler Lockett in the end zone, the Super Bowl Champion and perennial Pro Bowler is on a quest to bring Major League Baseball to Portland.
Wilson is one of the investors and co-founders of the Portland Diamond Project, a group that is leading the push in bringing a baseball team to the Rose City.
The two-sport athlete was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 and the Colorado Rockies in 2010. He recent participated in spring training games for the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. Now, he wants to build a baseball community in Portland.
Wilson took over the PDX Diamond Project’s Twitter account to answer your questions. Here’s a wrap up from today’s Q&A.
Whoever collects the most signatures on the @PDXDiamondProj rewards program will win this signed hat! I challenge @Dame_Lillard @CJMcCollum @AbbyWambach to sign the petition! #MLBtoPDX https://t.co/obiWXuqKIJ pic.twitter.com/dmNXYEVqSR— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) June 5, 2019
On which baseball players he looked up to growing up:
My dad and my brother.... pro baseball wise I looked up to Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr. https://t.co/UECmcmlEAK— Portland Diamond Project (@PDXDiamondProj) June 5, 2019
On whether he plans on getting any other athletes involved in the project:
On how soon Portland could have a ballpark:
Well the sooner we get clearance to have MLB in Portland it will take a quick 3 years to have our new ballpark! amazing for fans and famlies https://t.co/b6yY5eZ4o0— Portland Diamond Project (@PDXDiamondProj) June 5, 2019
On whether or not the Mariners and Portland's baseball team could build a rivalry:
friendly foes... I believe that when your a professional sports team... every team is your rival in the sense that you are trying to win a championship. However... it makes baseball that much better here in the PNW and for fans to engage in the game they love. Great for famlies! https://t.co/bJHN02wLgL— Portland Diamond Project (@PDXDiamondProj) June 5, 2019
On where fans can buy a PDX Diamond Project baseball jersey seen here:
On whether or not Wilson will attend baseball games, and if so, who does he want to see:
Any time I can make it to a game I would love to go! No matter what team we play it would be amazing to have MLB in Portland! https://t.co/FleOV9BPv2— Portland Diamond Project (@PDXDiamondProj) June 5, 2019
On a timeframe for a possible opening pitch:
Yes, if all goes well opening pitch would be 2023! It will be here in no time! https://t.co/JA3OSCUxlk— Portland Diamond Project (@PDXDiamondProj) June 5, 2019
On his favorite baseball memory:
Playing with my Dad and older brother Harry! https://t.co/saHsx4KnIW— Portland Diamond Project (@PDXDiamondProj) June 5, 2019
For more information on how you can help bring MLB to PDX, visit the Portland Diamond Project's website here.
Things got a little crazy in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) on Monday when former NBA player Terrence Jones got in a scuffle with Calvin Abueva.
It all started when Abueva, a player for the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters (yeah, that's the team's name) hit Jones hard trying to run through a screen, sending Jones to the ground.
Jones, a Portland native, retaliated by punching Abueva in the groin then attempting to elbow him in the chin as he got up from the floor. Jones was not called for a foul.
Obviously upset, Abueva retaliated in a big way. While Jones was running to the corner to get a loose ball, Abueva came running after. At first, you thought Abueva was just making a play for the ball, that was until he extended his right arm and clotheslined Jones sending him flying.
This PBA clip has it all.— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) June 4, 2019
Nut shot, dance, closeline retaliation, and a revenge dance while The Real Slim Shady plays in the background. Wow. pic.twitter.com/GzgdOUABB7
Well, Jones wasn't too happy, jumped up to get some retaliation of his own, and the two had to be separated by teammates. However, it wasn't over yet.
During the ensuing timeout, Abueva got up and the scorers table and started dancing to mock Jones.
This all resulted in Abueva's ejection, and it was later announced that his actions have got him suspended indefinitely from the PBA.
So, next time someone asks you "whatever happened to Terrence Jones?"
You can tell them he's playing for TNT KaTropa in the Phillapines, hitting people in the junk, and is occasionally on the receiving end of WWE'esque clotheslines from hell.
The PBA is wild.
The Portland Diamond Project (PDP) continues to work with the Port of Portland in hopes of securing a site for a future baseball stadium. Today, the PDP released some updated info as they continue to research the site and its baseball future. Below is the official press release from the PDP:
PDP Statement on T2 Extension:
Portland Diamond Project continues to evaluate Terminal 2 as the preferred site for a ballpark and mixed-use development. We have come to an agreement with the Port of Portland for up to six months of extensions to continue the due diligence period.
Port of Portland Statement:
The Portland Diamond Project asked for more time for due diligence at Terminal 2 and we feel comfortable extending the timeline.
Will Portland Diamond Project be paying the Port of Portland for the extensions?
Yes. PDP will pay the Port $37,500 for each month of additional due diligence.
When are the payments due?
PDP will pay the first Monthly Extension Fee in the amount of $37,500 on or before June 1, 2019 and will also pay five successive payments of the Monthly Extension Fee in the amount of $37,500 each, on or before the 1st day of July, August, September, October and November of 2019.
What happens when the six months are up?
At that point, we’ll enter next phase of cementing our partnership with the Port to develop this property.
Is PDP considering other sites?
We love the opportunity that Terminal 2 presents for a ballpark on the waterfront and a new neighborhood that extends the central city. We have an agreement to continue evaluating Terminal 2 and that’s where our energy is focused.
So, you’re considering other sites?
We’re focused on Terminal 2, but we’ll be pursuing all options that make sense until shovels are in the ground.
Hockey fans in Seattle will have to wait a little longer to take a step inside their future NHL team's new arena.
In a press conference Thursday, the NHL to Seattle expansion group announced plans to open the arena in June 2021, a slight delay from the project's original target date of spring 2021. However, the new date does make it possible for the Emerald City to become host of the NHL Expansion Draft and NHL Draft before the team takes the ice for the first time during the 2021-22 NHL season.
"That would be a heck of a way to start a franchise," NHL Seattle president Tod Leiweke said in a press conference on Thursday. "We are fully motivated.”
The Seattle Center Arena, formerly known as KeyArena, began renovations in December, but recent design delays and switching contractors have pushed the date for completion back.
“We’ll know in about a year what the probability of an exact date is,” Leiweke said. “We’ll know a lot more in the coming year.”
Sneak peek inside our Preview Center! This space is designed to preview the in-arena experience for @NHL hockey, live music, and basketball and we’re excited to host our fans here in the coming months. #ReturnToHockey #NHLSeattle— NHL Seattle (@NHLSeattle_) April 18, 2019
Full gallery ➡️ https://t.co/jl6MHb5Jic pic.twitter.com/N6MYOg6YIC
The price of the privately-funded project has also soared to somewhere between $900 to $930 million. The initial price was expected to cost around $600 million. Leiweke said the group has provided Mortenson, the project’s new contractor, with special incentives if they can have the arena ready by June 2021.
"The Storm will play in this building, and they're not really a tenant, they're a partner," Leiweke said. "We have deep admiration for them and what they do. We have a deep admiration for their championships. Hopefully, some of that will rub off on other teams in the building."
The WNBA defending champions will play at University of Washington's Alaska Airlines Arena during the construction of Seattle Center Arena.