A group of football fans in Oregon want their governor to actively pursue bringing the NFL to the Portland area and have set their sights on the Oakland Raiders.
“NFL to Oregon” recently posted a petition to Gov. John Kitzhaber on Change.org, asking the state to at least begin exploring the possibility.
“Bringing an NFL team to Oregon would dramatically increase the footprint of this state, bring tax revenue, create jobs and create a multi-use venue that would increase tourism. Portland is the nation's largest metropolitan area that is served by only one of the Big Three Major League sports organizations,” the petition reads.
On its website, the group prominently shows Oakland Raiders fans and points out that the Raiders have reportedly hinted at moving.
Emory Sports Marketing Analytics recently ranked Portland as the number one small market city with only one sports franchise in the four major professional leagues. Emory says Portland has the 24th largest population, but the Trail Blazers were still 4th in NBA attendance in the 2012-2013 season.
Twelve NFL cities have smaller TV markets than Portland, according to Nielsen.
In addition to the Trail Blazers, Portland has the Timbers (MLS), an arena football team and a minor-league hockey team.
The Rose City briefly had a pro football team 30 years ago. The Breakers of the USFL moved to Portland in 1985 after stops in Boston and New Orleans. But after a 6-12 season and millions of dollars in losses, the team folded.
If the Raiders move, it wouldn’t be a first for the franchise. After starting in Oakland in 1960, it moved to Los Angeles in 1982 and then back to Oakland in 1995.
The Raiders are the only NFL team that still shares a sports stadium with a Major League Baseball team. Through September and sometimes into October, you can still see the baseball infield dirt at Raiders home games.