PORTLAND – Arena Football League Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz announced at a press conference today that an ownership group led by Portland businessman Terry W. Emmert, CEO of Clackamas-based Emmert International, an engineered transport and structural relocation company specializing in ultra-heavy duty transit, has been approved by the AFL’s Board of Directors to purchase a majority of the Milwaukee Mustangs and relocate the team to Portland, Ore. The team will begin regular season play in 2014 at the Moda Center (20,636), home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to bring professional football not only to the Portland community, but to the entire state of Oregon,” Emmert stated. “Sports fans in this state are used to seeing a high-energy, fast-paced brand of football. The Arena Football League delivers that kind of excitement in a unique and affordable family setting.”
This will be the second franchise in League history to call Portland home. The Portland Forest Dragons played in the AFL for three seasons from 1997-1999.
“The Northwest has a rich history of energetic fans and dynamic talent,” Arena Football League Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. “Some of our highest viewership for ArenaBowl XXVI was in Portland so we could not be more excited to have a franchise here once again.”
The League’s newest franchise also announced that the community will have a say in deciding the name of Portland’s professional football team. Beginning on Wednesday, fans can log on to PortlandAFL.com to suggest and vote on potential team names. The official team name will be selected and unveiled later in the month.
Jared Rose, who served as the Vice President of Marketing for the Spokane Shock from 2005-2010, was introduced at the press conference as the team’s inaugural president. In addition, Meadow Lemon has been named the team’s Director of Football Operations. The team’s head coach will be announced at a later date.