A $22 night with the Rip City Remix
The I-5 Corridor spent a Monday night with Portland's newest professional franchise.
PORTLAND — Why did we park so far away?
That’s what my buddy Alec and I kept saying as we walked five blocks further than needed to the Chiles Center. The Portland Trail Blazers’ G League team, the Rip City Remix, were hosting G League Ignite on the Bluff, and as two North Portlanders who have yet to check out the area’s newest professional sports team, this figured like a good night to make amends.
Maybe the minor league team of a struggling NBA franchise isn’t the hottest ticket in town, but shoot, Scoot Henderson played for the Ignite last year. How often do you get to see future stars play in this neighborhood? Mondays have been pretty barren up here, anyway, since Leisure Public House stopped doing trivia night.
We figured there might be a crowd.
But after a quick burger at Mock Crest Tavern and a realization that neither of us had ever parked at Chiles, we grabbed a spot too far away on the street and were mocked by empty space after empty space as we walked our way to the arena. There was actually a bit of a line to get into the dome on the University of Portland campus and after a few minutes we were quickly inside the co-working space of the Pilots and Remix.
The Remix are nine games into their inaugural season in the G League and so far have been surprisingly good at a home venue that still very much feels like it's on a college campus. Portland Pilots banners hang around the stadium, the main gate opens right into a Remix merchandise pop-up that’s across the hall from the framed jerseys of UP soccer superstars Megan Rapinoe and Christine Sinclair. The Blazers purchased a new floor depicting the St. Johns Bridge for the school and Remix to share, which has changeable sideline areas for the teams to brand respective home games. The Remix wear black at home and use accents of their big brother’s red, but there’s mainly just purple everywhere in the building, from the comfortable-enough seats to the doors.
Our tickets were $15 each. They were the cheapest available when I bought them that morning online and still got you close enough of the action to say things like, Hey, never been that close to Moe Harkless before. If you’re looking for bang for your dollar, you can get in the door and to your seat with a hot dog for $22.
I’ll probably opt for the $2 hand fruit next time, though.
Alec, the guy longtime I-5 subscribers might remember as the one who introduced us to BORGs last spring, is doing Dry January, so we both saved at minimum $7 each on drinks.
The Remix largely dominated the just-out-of-high-school Ignite in a game that featured the occasional sloppiness. There was one series in the fourth quarter that saw a missed dunk traded for an air ball traded for another missed dunk — a moment tastefully punctuated by a Bill Schonely “Rip City Baby!” over the PA when the Remix finally ended the run with a bucket. As a 34-year-old with no kids who covers college basketball, the on-court product here probably isn’t for me. I didn’t find myself interested in the outcome of the game and had a hard time letting go that you can get into the Moda Center for around the same price to the Blazers these days.
But that’s just me.
The families that filled Chiles on a Monday night created a livelier atmosphere than the last time I was in that building, back when a sparser crowd showed up on Thanksgiving for PK85. And the Remix do have some pretty slick, yet expensive, merch. It’s definitely less of a hassle than a night out in the Rose Quarter.
Would I go again? Maybe once or twice a year. There are definitely more expensive nights out with friends. But exiting the double doors of Chiles to an inch of water on the ground and an angry sky above, I was reminded to remember to park a little closer next time.
— Tyson Alger, The I-5 Corridor
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