Well, it’s been kind of slow around here lately, though I’ve been extremely busy. I’m pretty sure that those two concepts are related. Ideally, I’d like to post whether I’m busy or not, but blogging usually takes a back seat to my other projects. Unfortunately, this is a post about bad news–at least for Portland lacrosse fans like me. The demise of the Portland LumberJax has been confirmed. Owner Angela Batinovich stated that she was looking into moving the Jax to a new venue, but that looks pretty unlikely at this point.
Despite growing number of fans, the economy has played a devastating role in declining sponsorship. Add this to the huge costs of operating at the Rose Garden, and you can see a bleak financial outlook for owners and investors. With a huge National Lacrosse League franchise fee and other startup costs, the big hit was supposed to come at the beginning of the 2006 season, when the LumberJax started here in Portland. After that, the following years of ticket sales and sponsorships are supposed to make up for that loss and then in later seasons, start actually seeing a profit. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for the LumberJax.
There are thousands of fans who are just as disappointed as I am, wondering where they’re going to get their LAX fix. I spent the first two seasons in the stands with the rest of the crowd, but then decided to take a leap and talk with the team about becoming a photographer. Everything worked out, and I became a photographer for the NLL, shooting LumberJax home games at the Rose Garden. During that season, I managed to get several online publications and a couple of billboards around Portland. During the 2009 season, I became a freelance photographer for NLLInsider.com and Inside Lacrosse magazine, as well as other local and national sports outlets.
Without the LumberJax, I wouldn’t have been able to start my photography career at the professional level. It was a great opportunity for me, and I made the best use of the two seasons that I photographed at the Rose Garden. I wish I was going back to photograph next season, but maybe this was just a gateway sport for me.