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SCORESHEET/Series off to competitive start in 2018/Fighting Shockwave win handily again/MLB, Mariners providing excitement

The IndyCar Series is making its debut at Portland International Raceway over Labor Day weekend, bringing back open-wheel racing to the city for the first time since 2007.

Through three 2018 races, the series appears to be very competitive. The winners to date: Sebastien Bourdais, Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, who captured Sunday's race at Long Beach, California.

Rossi, who appeared in the most recent season of "The Amazing Race" on CBS, finished third in each of the first two races.

The big Portland race is Sunday, Sept. 2, and tickets go on sale for all of that weekend's events at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 17 at portlandgp.com (the official website of the Portland race).

Three-day passes are $165 (Gold, with paddock pass), $95 (Silver) and $85 (Bronze) for grandstand seating and $60 for general admission. Single-day tickets are $50 (Sunday), $35 (Saturday) and $20 (Friday).

• The Portland Fighting Shockwave improved to 2-0 in women's football with a 41-12 victory against the Capital City Rage in Sacramento, California.

Next for the Fighting Shockwave is a 6 p.m. Saturday home game at Roosevelt High against the Tacoma Trauma. The teams met in the season opener, with Portland winning 31-0 at home. Tacoma lost 22-0 to the Everett Reign last weekend.

• With MLB-to-Portland work still ongoing and a city stadium site the goal of would-be franchise investors, the 2018 season already has had impressive individual feats and teams rising to the top of the standings — but also mixed success at the box office.

On the field, the Seattle Mariners are showing enough offense to cope (so far) with their sporadic starting pitching. Generating five runs per game for most of their pitchers except, it seems, Felix Hernandez, could keep things interesting for Mariners fans, and exciting.

You want excitement? The potential is there for lots of it at Safeco Field on May 4-6, when intriguing rookie Shohei Ohtani is scheduled to visit with the resurgent Los Angeles Angels.

On the subject of attendance problems, though, Exhibit A is in Miami. The Marlins recently got out-drawn by their Double-A affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (managed by former Portland Beavers skipper Randy Ready). The Shrimp had the benefit of playing their home opener as they pulled in 6,960 fans to the 6,150 tickets sold, reportedly, for the Marlins' game against the New York Yankees (the New York Yankees!).

Average home attendance so far this season for Miami (sold for $1.2 billion last year to Derek Jeter and others) is about 13,400, and a three-game series with the Yankees drew an average of 6,556.

If Portland, whose women's soccer Thorns averaged 17,653 fans per regular-season home game last year, can't do better than the Marlins as a future home of an MLB team, something is seriously wrong in the Rose City.

If the infrastructure is created around a ballpark at any of the often-talked about Portland sites (which include the downtown post office blocks and the area in Northwest where Vaughn Street used to be), both economic development and entertainment opportunities would be created, and summers in particular would be transformed.

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