Portland Thorns-OL Reign game postponed again due to air quality issues

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A National Women’s Soccer League game between Portland Thorns and OL Reign has been postponed for the second time in a matter of days due to ongoing air quality concerns in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

The game was initially pushed back from September 12 until September 15 but the fall series game at Thorns’ venue Providence Park is now due to take place on September 30. The game will be streamed exclusively on Twitch.

It is unclear if the Thorns’ scheduled home game against Utah Royals on September 20 will take place on time.

Wildfires have raged throughout California and the Pacific Northwest in the past week, killing at least 35 people and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes as thick smoke has blanketed the region.

A Major League Baseball doubleheader played September 14 between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s at the Mariners’ T-Mobile Park, meanwhile, also raised questions about the air quality there because of the wildfires. The games were played in thick, smoky haze. But A’s manager Bob Melvin said the team was not approached about any potential postponement of either half of the doubleheader.

“No one said a word,” Melvin said. “I heard 200 (on the air quality index) was the cutoff level to start, and my understanding is it was way over that, both games.”

A’s pitcher Jesus Luzardo was critical of the decision to stage the games.

“When I came out it (the air quality index) was at 284,” Luzardo said. “I’m a healthy 22-year-old, I shouldn’t be gasping for air or missing oxygen when I’m getting to the line. I’ll leave it at that.”