AST Dew Tour announces schedule for Wendy’s Invitational

The AST Dew Tour, the world’s premier season-long action sports tour, today announced the schedule of events for the Wendy’s Invitational, held Aug. 21-24 at Portland’s Rose Quarter. More than 150 of the world’s top skateboard, BMX and freestyle motocross athletes will compete in Portland for the third of five events on the 2008 season.

Highlights of the event include four Prelims on Thursday and Skateboard Park Finals, BMX Dirt Finals and a concert by Gym Class Heroes on Friday. Saturday features Skateboard Vert Finals, BMX Park Prelims, BMX Vert Finals and the Ski and Snowboard Rail Jam. The final day of the Wendy’s Invitational features the BMX Park Finals and an FMX Jam Session on Sunday.

The schedule of events is as follows:

Thursday, August 21st – Gates Open at 2:00PM
3:00PM – 5:00PM SKB Vert Prelims
3:00PM – 4:30PM BMX Dirt Prelims
6:30PM – 9:00PM SKB Park Prelims
7:00PM – 8:30PM BMX Vert Prelims

Friday, August 22nd – Gates Open at 2:00PM
4:00PM – 5:30PM SKB Park Final
7:00PM – 8:30PM BMX Dirt Final
9:00PM-11:00PM Music – Gym Class Heroes

Saturday, August 23rd – Gates Open at NOON
1:00PM – 3:00PM SKB Vert Final
3:30PM – 6:00PM BMX Park Prelims
7:30PM – 8:30PM BMX Vert Final
9:15PM – 10:00PM SKI and SNB Rail Jam

Sunday, August 24th – Gates Open at NOON
1:00PM – 2:30PM BMX Park Final
3:00PM – 4:00PM FMX Jam Session


Currently in its fourth year, the AST Dew Tour is the most watched and attended action sports property in the world. Attendance for the 2007 AST Dew Tour totaled nearly 300,000 and an average of 41 million viewers tuned in via NBC and USA each year. The top athletes in the world will take part in this year’s Tour, all competing for the highly coveted Dew Cup that will be awarded in Orlando at season’s end to champions in each of the six disciplines. The 2007 Dew Cup winners include Nate Adams (Freestyle Motocross), Jamie Bestwick (BMX Vert), Ryan Nyquist (BMX Dirt), Daniel Dhers (BMX Park), Shaun White (Skateboard Vert) and Ryan Sheckler (Skateboard Park).

MLS in Portland in holding pattern

Merritt Paulson has a favorite city in the race to land a Major League Soccer franchise.

Understandably, it’s Portland. After all, he’s owner and president of the Timbers, who play in the United Soccer Leagues First Division.

Paulson would love to see Portland chosen for one of two new MLS franchises that will be selected to begin play in 2011.

— Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 26, 2008

PGE Park to host Papé Grand Slam next March

The Oregon State baseball team will play host to perennial Midwest power Missouri State in a three-game series at PGE Park during the second-annual Papé Grand Slam, March 13-15, 2009, it was announced today.

Game times and ticket information will be announced at a later date and will be available at and

Last year, the inaugural Papé Grand Slam provided a celebrated launch to the PGE Park season of events by drawing 29,332 fans during Oregon State’s three-game series with the Georgia Bulldogs.

“Coming off an incredibly popular series between two national baseball powers in 2008, we are thrilled once again to play host to the Papé Grand Slam and to give Portland-area fans the chance to see head coach Pat Casey and the Oregon State Beavers in action at PGE Park,” said Merritt Paulson, president and general manager of the Portland Beavers at PGE Park.

The final game of the 2008 Papé Grand Slam attracted a series-high 11,166 fans, which stands as the Pacific-10 Conference single-game record for a contest not played in Omaha. The special series drew an average of 9,777 fans per game as Portland-area baseball enthusiasts and Oregon State backers overwhelmingly responded to the unique opportunity to watch the pair of top-level collegiate teams in action at the unique and historic ballpark located in downtown Portland.

Oregon State, winners of back-to-back College World Series titles in 2006 and 2007, responded by winning two of the three games against the Bulldogs, who went on to a second-place finish in the 2008 College World Series.

Next year’s opponent, Missouri State, finished the 2008 campaign with an impressive 40-17 record, including an 18-6 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. In 2003, the Bears, then known as Southwest Missouri State, advanced to their first College World Series after winning both the NCAA Lincoln Regional and the NCAA Columbus Super Regional.

Under Casey, the Oregon State Beavers reached the College World Series in 2005 and achieved the pinnacle of national prominence in 2006 by surviving a string of elimination games on their way to their first national championship. Oregon State duplicated the feat in 2007, becoming the first team in a decade to repeat as College World Series champion by winning all five of its CWS games and capping its impressive run with a 9-3 victory over North Carolina in the title game.

Gorge Games return, with new events and marketing plan

Riverboarding on the White Salmon River will be part of the new Gorge Games, which run Thursday through Sunday.

Imagine racing down the White Salmon River, tumbling over Husum Falls with little more than a life jacket and a boogey board. Imagine handling class IV rapids in a head-to-head, full-contact competition, against the best in the world.

Or imagine looking on at the professionals in this spectacle, while you’re safely from the banks of the river, near Husum, Wash.

“We call them insane,” Darcy Hunter of the Gorge Games says of the riders.

— Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, July 15, 2008

Local teams, local TV

Portland State offensive linemen are taped by DeSean Ray (left) and Trinity Webber of Portland’s Momentum Studios, which produces “Camp Glanville,” a reality show about the lives of PSU football players, for Comcast SportsNet. The year-old cable network also is the home of the Blazers.

A pair of cute puppies runs onto the Portland State football practice field, playing, tongues hanging out, and in all of the excitement one of them stops and squats.

Nothing like good TV, huh?

— Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, July 10, 2008

Athletes give Eugene’s hospitality a gold medal

For the 10-day span that ended Sunday, the sport of track and field moved through a living museum — freshly refurbished and unveiling exhibits daily.

The U.S. Olympic trials were back in Eugene for the first time in 28 years, and the result was part pilgrimage, part family reunion, part house party. Years of preparation to return the sport to one of its most legendary sites, including 3,000 volunteers and millions of dollars in renovations, seem to have hit their mark.

“Just the hospitality and the people of Eugene, it’s unbelievable,” said Matthew DeBole, a Georgetown University graduate who competed in the 1,500 meters. “Here, you feel like you know everybody, and you’ve never seen them before.”

— Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 8, 2008

Bank of the West contributes to Oregon Sports Authority

Bank of the West said today it is contributing $12,000 for the second year in a row to the Oregon Sports Authority to support a program that makes it possible for deserving children to attend Portland Winter Hawks hockey games.

“The Oregon Sports Authority is a huge asset to our community, and its Reward Youth Ticket Exchange is a wonderful way to provide access to professional sporting events for kids who otherwise would not have such an opportunity,” said Bill Williamson, Bank of the West Executive Vice President and head of its Northwest Division, headquartered in Portland.

Through the Exchange season ticket holders donate tickets to games they will not attend and those tickets are distributed to deserving children. Since starting the program in 1996, the Oregon Sports Authority Foundation has enabled more than 10,000 youths to attend Trail Blazers basketball games. Through a $12,000 contribution by Bank of the West in 2007, the foundation expanded the program to include Winter Hawks’ tickets.

“Bank of the West has been a leader in contributing to the Oregon Sports Authority. Its support helped bring the Davis Cup World Final to Portland in 2007 and its continuing support of our Reward Youth Ticket Exchange will make it possible again this year for more than 400 local youths to enjoy Winter Hawks games,” said Drew Mahalic, Chief Executive Officer of the Oregon Sports Authority, a non-profit organization promoting economic growth through sports.

About Bank of the West:
Founded in 1874 and headquartered in San Francisco, $62 billion-asset Bank of the West is the second-largest commercial bank based in California. Bank of the West offers a full range of business, trust, international and personal banking services. The bank currently operates more than 700 commercial and retail banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. In 2008, Bank of the West was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Retail Banks in the West” by J.D. Power and Associates. Bank of the West’s holding company, BancWest Corporation, is owned by BNP Paribas, a leading global financial services institution ranked by Standard & Poor’s as one of the world’s four strongest banks. More information is available at

Oregon to Host IRB North America 4 Rugby Tournament

On July 10, two elite representative teams from the U.S. will go against each other at Mt. Hood Community College in the first round of the North America 4 Rugby Tournament, presented by the International Rugby Board and USA Rugby. The contest will feature several members of the U.S. national team who will compete for a spot in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The match is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m.

“We couldn’t be any happier to bring this premiere contest to the state of Oregon,” said USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville. “Oregonians will get a golden opportunity to see the best rugby players this country has to offer.”

The North America 4 Rugby Tournament is a popular cross-border competition that involves two teams from both Canada (East and West) and the U.S. (Falcons and Eagles). The tournament serves as an important testing ground for international competition, such as the Rugby World Cup.

“The IRB is excited that the first U.S. leg will be held in Oregon so that it will bring a match of this caliber to the Northwest for the first time,” said NA4 Tournament Manager Tom Jones.  “The popularity of Rugby in all levels of the American game is growing and Oregon’s Rugby program is a great representative of how the game is organized on a state level.”

The Oregon Sports Authority and Rugby Oregon helped bring the match to Mt. Hood Community College. The event will serve as a fundraiser for Rugby Oregon, a non-profit youth sports organization, dedicated to the growth and development of youth rugby in Oregon. Tickets for the event are $10, with eighty percent of ticket sales staying in Oregon to promote youth rugby. Tickets will be available for purchase at the gate. For more information, visit

New plans for meets at Hayward

Some of the nation’s best track and field athletes might return to Hayward Field this month for an Olympic tuneup, kicking off what could become a summer circuit of meets in subsequent years, officials said Sunday.Vin Lananna, University of Oregon’s director of track and field, said he is working on bringing a national-caliber meet back to Hayward on July 27.

“It won’t be a great, big monstrosity, but we’ll have a couple events,” Lananna said. “We’ll try it out. But when we do it (in 2009), we’re going to blow it out.”

— Excerpt from The Oregonian, July 7, 2008

Not every sport requires a ball

Portland wears its weird title like a badge of honor, so it should come as no surprise that the City of Roses has a wide list of sports available to the public.

“I think that Portland is perhaps the most outstanding in the country when it comes to the diversity of sports it offers,” says Drew Mahalic, chief executive officer of the nonprofit Oregon Sports Authority.

On paper, the Northwest rain and outdoor sports are not a good mix. But the city makes up for that with gorgeous summer and fall weather (usually).

“During the summer, I don’t think there is any better place in the world to play or watch a sport than in Portland,” Mahalic says.

— Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, July 3, 2008

IRL wants Portland race

If Portland officials and Portland International Raceway can come up with financial support, Danica Patrick and the Indy Racing League could run at PIR. But 2009 has been ruled out for a Portland IRL event.

The Indy Racing League wants to be racing in Portland. Executive Terry Angstadt makes no qualms about it.

‘”We would absolutely like to come to Portland,” says Angstadt, president of the IRL’s commercial division. “We have always said that, and now we have met with another group of (Portland) folks, a very favorable meeting. As we look to serve our fan base best, we know Portland is a great market.”

Drew Mahalic, executive director of the Oregon Sports Authority, and Mike Nealy, president of Global Events Group, recently paid a visit to IRL headquarters in Indianapolis to talk about the series racing at Portland International Raceway.

— Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, July 3, 2008

eUpdate – Olympic Trials, Rugby Tournament and Gorge Games

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials currently underway at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon are emphatically marking Eugene’s official reemergence as “Track Town, USA.” The trials began with a bang as Kara Goucher and Amy Begley, who train in Portland, earned spots on the U.S. Olympic team in a dramatic women’s 10,000-meter final. On Sunday, sprinter Tyson Gay ran the fastest 100-meters in history, a slightly wind-aided time of 9.68 that does not officially qualify as a world record. Several other athletes with Oregon connections qualified in recent days, including a thrilling sweep of the men’s 800-meters by Nick Symmonds, Andrew Wheating and Christian Smith.

Click below to view the entire Oregon Sports Authority eUpdate.

Groundwork comes ahead of big league teams

Major League Baseball is coming to Portland, but it could take a decade or longer.

A National Hockey League franchise won’t begin to happen until the Trail Blazers change their mind about direct competition.

Major League Soccer has Portland on its expansion short list, but for starters, the city would have to commit $65 million or more for PGE Park renovations and a new Triple-A baseball stadium.

— Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, July 3, 2008

Fourth annual Portland Action Sports Film Contest underway

The Oregon Sports Authority’s fourth annual Portland Action Sports Film Contest is offering amateur filmmakers the chance to show off their filmmaking skills as Portland gets set for the AST Dew Tour’s Wendy’s Invitational, August 21-24 at the Rose Quarter.  Films less than five minutes in length can be submitted online at by August 8.  Action sports fans are encouraged to rate and comment on each of the films submitted.  The film contest winner will have their film shown on the Rose Garden big screen during the AST Dew Tour, plus receive four VIP passes to the event.

“We’re excited to provide this opportunity for both amateur filmmakers and fans of action sports,” said Fritz Brumder of the Oregon Sports Authority’s Advisory Council, which launched the inaugural Portland Action Sports Film Contest in conjunction with the AST Dew Tour in 2005.  “We’ve had some amazing films submitted over the years, snow, skate and surf.”

The 2008 AST Dew Tour kicked off last month with the Panasonic Open in Baltimore.  Competition winners included Blake Williams in freestyle motocross, Ryan Sheckler in skateboard park, Bucky Lasek in skateboard vert, Daniel Dhers in BMX park, Jaime Bestwick in BMX vert and Ryan Nyquist in BMX dirt.  The AST Dew Tour consists of five major, multi-sport events spanning across the country, with a cumulative points system, a $2.5 million competitive purse – the largest in action sports – and an additional $1 million bonus pool.  Each event features skateboarding (park and vert), BMX (park, vert, and dirt) and freestyle motocross.  Key lifestyle elements at each Tour event include the Festival village, specialty competitions, and live cutting edge music.  More information can be found at

The mission of the Oregon Sports Authority is to position the state of Oregon as the preferred location for select amateur and professional sports events, franchises and related activities in order to enhance the quality of life of Oregonians and to stimulate the state’s economy.

Volunteer at Gorge Games

The Gorge Games began in 1994 and has a history of being one of the most exciting action and outdoor sporting events in the Pacific Northwest. The Gorge Games attracts world class athletes to spectacular sites in the scenic Columbia Gorge. No other place on earth offers wild rivers, pristine forest, craggy mountain peaks, and the challenges of the Columbia Gorge itself along with unparalleled conditions for incredible action sports all in one location.

An event of this magnitude would not be possible without the help of dedicated and hardworking volunteers. Volunteers are not only taking on some of the most critical duties, but also are able to enjoy the huge array of action sports and live entertainment.

Gorge Games is currently looking for volunteers to help out during the event July 17-20. There are other volunteer opportunities with a community clean-up on July 12-13 and another post Gorge Games clean-up effort on July 21. There is a huge variety in the volunteer opportunities ranging from sports venues to Adventure Village to community events and more, so please check out the volunteer registration page ( for more information or send an email to

All volunteers will receive a t-shirt, a goody bag, an invitation to a post-event volunteer appreciation lunch, and a day of admission to the Gorge Games.

3,000 walk, run and bike at LiveStrong Challenge

Lucas Martens, 3, was hot Sunday after walking 5 kilometers with his mom, Carolyn Martens, at the LiveStrong Challenge.

“Mom poured water on my head,” Lucas said, smiling and wiping his head after crossing the finish line at Nike’s World Headquarters in the Beaverton area.

But the little Portlander never thought about quitting the annual fundraiser for cancer awareness and research. He ran about half of the course and kept his mother going, she said.

— Excerpt from The Oregonian, June 30, 2008