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For Immediate Release

PORTLAND, Ore. (February 24, 2021) – This is a historic day in Portland Arena Football history as the Arena Football League and the staff of the Portland organization focus on setting a new foundation with the exciting announcement that the team will be rebranded as the Portland Steel, effective immediately.

“Portland has an extremely strong and knowledgeable fan base that appreciates outstanding football and entertainment,” AFL Commissioner Scott C. Butera said.  “The new Steel brand and logo represents the region’s rich competitive nature and proud history.  We believe this is part of the continuation of that philosophy and the start of a solid winning tradition.”

“The name ‘Steel’ implies the strength needed to withstand the tough, action-packed game of Arena Football,” Steel general manager and head coach Ron James stated. “I am excited as the team's coach and GM to be a part of this new chapter for the Portland organization.”

From the discovery of iron ore near Lake Oswego in the 1840’s, to the 100+ companies that call the Portland Metro area home today, the steel industry has been a backbone of the Portland working culture for over 150 years. Steel is an overtly visible part of the Portland landscape, with foundries decorating both the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, and is seen in several of the city’s 12 iconic bridges.

“We will begin the work of forging a championship level team with the Portland Steel this spring,” James continued. “And our fans can expect to see a fast paced hard hitting team at Moda Center this season."

As part of the arrangement, the ‘Thunder’ moniker will no longer be in use, though the Portland Steel will continue retain the history of the Thunder organization.

The Portland Steel will also introduce a new website and social media pages that will feature updated ticket information and event details in the build up to training camp, which begins on Wednesday, March 9. (; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - @pdxsteel)

Portland will open its third season of play, and first as the Steel, against the five-time ArenaBowl champion Arizona Rattlers at Moda Center on Friday, April 1, 2020 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network, and will feature the debuts of head coach Ron James, and All-Arena quarterback Shane Austin.

About the AFL

Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network nationally broadcast AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl on ESPN. For all the latest news and discussion on the Arena Football League, follow the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball).

About the Portland Steel

The Portland Steel is set to begin its third season of League play at Moda Center on Saturday, April 1. Tickets and sponsorships are now available for the 2016 AFL Season. Steel fans who purchase 2016 season tickets will receive a FREE Portland Steel t-shirt with their order. 2016 Portland Steel season tickets start as low as $80! Take advantage of this special offer by calling 360-798-5496 or e-mailing For all the latest news and discussion on the Steel, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@pdxsteel).




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