'Portland Timbers Day' declared in Salem

'Portland Timbers Day' declared in Salem

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by Erica Heartquist

Bio | Email | Follow: @EricaHeartquist

kgw.com

Posted on April 13, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 13 at 2:47 PM

It's official. Lawmakers in Salem have voted to make April 14th "Portland Timbers Day" to welcome Oregon's newest Major League Soccer team to Portland.

KGW was there as the vote came in on the House floor, and it's fair to say the lawmakers were having fun with it.

At least a half dozen members of the House were either wearing Timbers scarves or wearing Timbers colors. Five members of the teams fan club the "Timber's Army" wore Timber's scarves as they looked on from the gallery.

The team's mascot, Timber Joey was there donning his silver hard hat and suspenders. Lawmakers joked that the state police made Timber Joey leave his chainsaw outside the capital building.

The Oregon House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Matt Wingard, (R) Wilsonville. He said in 1974, when the then "North American Soccer League" was expanding its franchise to Portland, his father was one of the team's owners. The new team, the Timbers, began playing during the 1975 season.

Rep. Wingard said more than 1,000 construction jobs were created while the stadium was being transformed for major league soccer.

"I appreciate your vote on this and welcome the Portland Timber's soccer franchise to Portland. Go Timbers," said Rep. Wingard.

KGW was at Jeld-Wen Field Tuesday as workers put the finishing touches on the stadium's $40 million makeover.

Portland hosts the Chicago Fire Thursday, April 14th in the opening game at Jeld-Wen Field, at 8 pm. Tickets are sold out and according to Wingard, there were fewer than 500 seats still available for all the home games that follow.

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