"Your" Portland Trail Blazers will wear the white "Rip City" jerseys for tomorrow night's game against the San Antonio Spurs to show some love to the past. This will be the first opportunity to see the special editions jerseys for those of you who didn't make it to the exhibition at Memorial Coliseum.
COMMEMORATIVE JERSEYS PAY NOD TO FOUR DECADES OF SUPPORT
Trail Blazers to make first of two regular-season appearances in ‘Rip City’ gear
przy_ripcityPortland, Ore. – Tomorrow night, in front of a sold out crowd and a national television audience, the Portland Trail Blazers will wear commemorative “Rip City” jerseys, paying homage to the enduring 40-year bond between the team and its fans.
The jersey, designed in conjunction with the team’s 40th anniversary season, unofficially debuted during the October 14 preseason game vs. Phoenix. It will be worn twice during the regular season – Friday night vs. San Antonio and on Fan Appreciation Night, April 14 vs. Golden State.
“Since the day that Bill Schonely first uttered the words in 1971, ‘Rip City’ has become synonymous with Portland and Blazermania,” Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Mensah said. “These jerseys were our way of using the 40th anniversary platform to celebrate and recognize the role our fans have played in the success the Trail Blazers franchise.”
On February 18, 1971, Schonely yelled the first ‘Rip City!’ cry in response to a long-distance field goal by Trail Blazer Jim Barnett. The rest, as they say, is history.
The most famous of many terms coined by the former Trail Blazers voice, Rip City grew to become synonymous with the basketball fervor that enveloped the city when the team won the 1977 NBA Championship and make 26 playoff appearances in a 27-year stretch from 1977-2003.
The return of Rip City, marked by 74 consecutive sellouts and last spring’s Rip City Uprise rally for an estimated 15,000 fans, has been evident throughout the team’s resurgence.
As a result, Rip City merchandise – including jerseys and T-shirts – has been some of the hottest selling merchandise in the Trail Blazers Fan Shop, accounting for more than 20 percent of the store’s sales this season.
As a response to the unprecedented demand for Trail Blazers merchandise, the team opened a retail kiosk at Washington Square to aid holiday shoppers through the end of December.
Additionally, the Fan Shop is open to the public from 11-3 every weekday.