Why Is Portland Called “Rip City?”

Alex Goodlett/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

According to the National Basketball Association, Portland’s nickname “Rip City” was accidentally given to the town by broadcaster Bill Schonely during a first season Trail Blazers’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Portland player Jim Barnett completed a long jump shot in the second quarter. An excited Schonely spontaneously cried out, “Rip City! All right!”

After uttering the phrase, Schonely was asked about it by his scorekeeper. The broadcaster replied, “I don’t know. It just came out.” Since then, the name “Rip City” has been associated with Portland. It has often been incorporated into the names of local businesses, such as restaurants, sports bars and dealerships.