PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — While the WNBA announced Thursday that they would be expanding to the Bay Area in 2025, Portland is also in the running for an expansion franchise, according to multiple reports.
The bid to bring the WNBA back to Portland for the first time in two decades is reportedly being led by local billionaire Kirk Brown, who co-founded DiscoverOrg, which is now called ZoomInfo.
“The WNBA continues to discuss adding a second expansion team, likely Portland, but multiple sources told ESPN those plans have not been finalized yet,” ESPN said in a social media post.
Adding Portland to the WNBA’s next round of expansion has reached the Board of Governors level. Now, with 13 teams in the league, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert stated Thursday that the goal is to have a 14th team by 2025.
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden’s office also weighed in on the potential expansion to Portland.
“As a lifetime lover of basketball, Senator Wyden knows full well that the game has lots of action before the final buzzer,” Hank Stern, Wyden’s spokesperson, told KOIN 6 News. “He continues to work hard with everybody teaming up for Portland to earn a WNBA expansion franchise. And he remains confident the scoreboard will end up with Portland winning that franchise.”
It’s been over 20 years since Portland has had a WNBA team. The Portland Fire played at Moda Center, formerly known as the Rose Garden, from 2000-02. Despite unsuccessful teams, the Fire averaged more than 8,000 fans per contest.