Fans fill Rose Quarter again for basketball and hockey events | Local News
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – A professional basketball scrimmage and home opener of junior hockey. The Pink Light District was alive on Saturday with the return of the Trail Blazers and Winterhawks.
There weren’t any fans for most of the NBA season last year and this 52nd campaign in Rip City will feel a bit off the wall as well. But after a year of virtually zero fanatic connection, the Blazer Fan Fest with masks and proof of vaccination status is only part of the comeback.
âI’m really excited,â said a young fan. “I missed my Blazers. Come on Blazers!
This feeling is mutual.
âI was at every game last year,â a fan told FOX 12.
Live and in the flesh, three-dimensional Blazer fans walked through the turnstiles with free entry, with that COVID-19 vaccination card or negative test. It should either be PCR within 72 hours of the tip or 48 hours after a rapid lab test. It is the policy of the Quartier Rose for all events here and now and for the foreseeable future.
For those who want to leave their homes and enjoy an evening of sports entertainment, it’s here under the guidance of new first-year head coach Chauncey Billups.
âI’m really excited to see how Billups will coach the Blazers,â one fan told FOX 12. âI think his defensive style will help us improve and maybe get us to the conference final.â
The defensive spirit and former NBA Finals MVP has always been a leader as a player. Now Mr. Big Shot gets his first chance to lead a talented Portland team. The Trail Blazers are firing all five starters and added what they believe to be better depth, better pattern and better frame of mind. Billups calls its core coaching values ââPACE. It means preparation, responsibility, communication and execution.
âWe’re just trying to get up to speed with the play calls, some of the (verbiage) that’s different now with different staff on both sides of the court,â Billups said. “But man, their enthusiasm was phenomenal, the effort was phenomenal, we had a great week.”
The 82-game regular season will see opening night at the Moda Center on October 20. No bag will be allowed and the transaction will be cashless.
With the Blazers ‘home opener on Monday, the Winterhawks’ new look was finally back on the ice in the Western Hockey League on Saturday night.
Portland’s last home game with fans was in March 2020 when they won the U.S. Division. The Hawks’ hopefuls expect it to be another record-breaking year. There are new amenities and new owners, but the same relaxing place to spend an evening in the community that we have missed so much in these trying times we all live.
âWe’re happy to be back with the family watching hockey,â a Winterhawks fan told FOX 12. âHope we’re doing really well.â
On the ice Saturday was the home opener with rival Seattle, not the Kraken but of course the Thunderbirds, a day after the opening at Tri-City.
The Hawks are back home next Sunday.
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