Portland November 3, 2014

What is Rip City?

You're probably aware of Portland's many nicknames: Rose City, Stumptown, Portlandia, Bridgetown, Beervana…each has its own significance in our city's lore, but one that may not make sense to you is Rip City. Why Rip City? What does Rip City mean?

Originally, it didn't mean anything, but it quickly gained great significance for Portland Trailblazers fans. In the Blazers' inaugural season, in a 1970 home game against the Lakers, Jim Barnett hit a game-tying long-distance jumper. The crowd erupted and announcer Bill Schonely yelled "RIP CITY!" Schonely admits it just came out — and colleagues encouraged him to keep using the phrase. In the 44 seasons since that moment, "Rip City" has become synonymous with Portland Trail Blazes Basketball, and the city of Portland itself.



Not every Portlander is a Blazers nut, but you wouldn't know that from inside the Moda Center. It's a truly magical environment, and while I admit some bias here, I do believe Blazer fans make up the best crowds in all of sports. The Blazers are our only major professional sports team, and we love them dearly. (Portland also has the Timbers and the Thorns of professional men's and women's soccer, but as far as "Big Four" sports, it's just Blazers here.) Inside the arena and all aound the city, Blazers fans make up a really wonderful community — a community now known as Rip City.