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Sports

New Proposal Could Bring Professional Soccer Team to Portland

portland soccer.PNG
City of Portland
A rendering of a possible soccer stadium on Preble Street in Portland.

Portland could add another professional sports team under a plan presented to a city committee Tuesday night.

Gabe Hoffman-Johnson, a former professional player and founder of the group "USL to Portland," presented a plan to a Portland city committee featuring two potential sites that could be developed as a stadium.

Hoffman-Johnson says the team would complement the city's other sports teams and create a sense of community, particularly for immigrants and refugees.

"We want the club to celebrate diversity and become an engine for inclusion. We see the club as a way to welcome many of Portland's newest citizens, who may be unfamiliar with basketball or baseball or hockey, but have loved soccer since birth," Hoffman-Johnson says.

City staff and councilors seemed largely positive but asked for more community input and information about its impact on existing recreational facilities.

Portland Housing & Economic Development Director Greg Mitchell says the club could complement the city's existing professional baseball, basketball and hockey teams.

"It rounds out our seasons," Miller says. "And I'm particularly excited about soccer and what it could mean to connections to community, connections to immigrants, and people attraction."

Advocates say the new team could potentially begin playing by the spring of 2023.

The team would join the USL — a league sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation featuring more than 30 teams across the country.