PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After multiple reports stated that the WNBA was interested in expanding to Portland, the league shared Wednesday that they weren’t coming to the Rose City — at least for the time being.
In a letter to Senator Ron Wyden, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert shared that the league would not be coming to Portland, despite calling the city an “ideal” place for a team.
Engelbert cited the renovation scheduled to take place at Moda Center during the WNBA season as the main reason to hold off on bringing in a franchise.
“It became clear that Poriand is an ideal destination for a WNBA franchise. Since then, the league and a prospective local ownership group have been working with city and local officials to resolve issues related to the Moda Center. However, in light of the potential renovation of the Moda Center currently anticipated to take place during consecutive summers, consideration of a WNBA franchise for Portland will be deferred for now until the timing and scope of the arena improvements are settled,” she said.
However, Englebert did elude to the possibility of a team coming to Portland in the future.
“When the time is right, we look forward to pursuing prospects for bringing the WNBA to Portland,” the letter stated.
Despite the letter of rejection, Wyden’s office says he is “committed to continue working hard with everybody in Portland who’s teaming up to bring our city and state a WNBA franchise. Portland and all of Oregon have long proven a hotbed for women’s sports, and he has no doubt the WNBA would succeed here in a similar fashion.”