Another one bites the dust: Olympia Rise relocate to Tacoma
Fresh on the heels of the Olympia Reign’s announcement to forgo the 2013 season, the Olympia Rise, a semi-pro basketball team competing in the ABA, announced today that they will be leaving Olympia and will compete as the Tacoma Rise next season. Here is the statement from their Facebook page…
“March 15, 2013 – Olympia, WA – After some long thought, research, and approval from the league, the Olympia Rise has decided to move the team to Tacoma. Evergreen State has been a gracious host and an awesome court to play on. But, due to majority of our players coming from the north and many of our supporters traveling south to see the games. We believe the team may be more successful in Tacoma and everyone would not have to travel so far to see us play. On April 13th, we will travel to the PacNW Championships in Salem representing Olympia. In the next few weeks we will be making some changes and transitioning from the Olympia Rise to the Tacoma Rise.
For those south end supporters that has followed us this year, we do appreciate you and hope that you will still follow us north.
More info coming soon! The Olympia Rise finished our (inaugural)regular season at 6-8. We are headed to the PacNW tourney as the #2 seed. Not bad for our 1st year! Stay tuned…”
The move of the Rise comes as no big surprise. General Manager Chris Reynolds told me before the season that they originally wanted to play in Lakewood but were beaten to the punch by another owner that eventually started the Lakewood Panthers. Without the home they wanted, they had to scramble to find another available market and settled on Olympia. But the Rise practiced in Tacoma, had their fundraiser dinner in Tacoma and for all intents and purposes were a Tacoma based team except for their name, logo and home venue.
Honestly, I cannot say that losing the Rise to Tacoma is much of a loss. They made no attempt to really be a part of the Olympia market, drew small crowds and were generally anonymous in the Olympia area. Most people would be surprised they even existed.
Also, given the ABA’s extremely poor track record in other cities, it’s remarkable that the Rise will leave Olympia without doing any damage. They will leave with the bills paid, assuming Evergreen got paid for the gym rental and no major sponsors or ticket holders left behind because of their move.
What is disappointing is that yet another semi-pro team comes and goes from the Olympia landscape without ever really giving an effort to promote or ingratiate themselves to this city or attempt to develop any kind of following. Will there ever be somebody in Olympia that can actually operate a minor league franchise? That remains to be seen.
I personally know someone that can or at least will give it everything he has to be successful: he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.