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Updated: October 6, 2023

Game on for Portland Monopoly as local businesses take 'Chance' on sponsorships

Person on stage Photo / Renee Cordes Lynn Tillotson, president and CEO of Visit Portland, at Thursday's unveiling of the new Portland Monopoly Game by Top Trumps USA. Business sponsors including Bayside Bowl, which hosted the unveil party.
Mascot Photo / Renee Cordes Mr. Monopoly, the game's mascot.
monopoly game Courtesy / Northeast Media Associates The game board and box have a lot of familiar names and images.
Monopoly game board Photo / Renee Cordes A close-up view of the game board.
Who's in the game and where can you buy it?
More Information

Move over, Boardwalk and Park Place — make way for Portland Head Light and the Eastern Promenade. Both occupy the highest-rent spots on a new Monopoly game starring Maine’s largest city.

Besides the local landmarks and nonprofits, businesses have paid to play. There are restaurants and retailers on the board as well as on the game's "Chance" and "Community Chest" cards.

“We would have preferred one of the blue squares” but got red instead, Sea Bags CEO Don Oakes told Mainebiz at Thursday’s unveil event, which was held at the premises of another sponsor, Bayside Bowl in the city’s West Bayside neighborhood. “My favorite properties are green and yellow.”

A self-confessed competitive Monopoly player, Oakes said Sea Bags aims to become the No. 1 seller of the new game.

"If the customers don’t buy them,” he said, “I’ll buy them myself.”

Monopoly game cards
Courtesy / Northeast Media Associates
Some of the Portland-themed property cards.

Thursday’s reveal was hosted by sales executive Tim Barney of Top Trumps USA, under license from Hasbro Inc. to produce the game, and wand-waving mascot Mr. Monopoly in his signature top hat, white gloves and black tux. 

“Portland is an amazing city. with organizations and businesses that really make this place special,” Barney told the gathering. Later, he told Mainebiz that 5,000 copies of the game had been produced but declined to disclose the sponsorship proceeds. 

Besides securing sponsorships, Top Trumps gathered community input on what to include in the game.

"We are so excited to have our city represented in this game — forever," Visit Portland President and CEO Lynn Tillotson told Thursday's gathering.

She and Barney then proceeded to recognize all of the businesses and organizations represented in the game, handing each an oversized commemorative square or card with their respective names and a game to take home.

Monopoly first hit shelves in 1935 with the Racecar, Thimble, Boot, Top Hat and Battleship among the original tokens, with the Scottie Dog and Wheelbarrow added in the early 1950s. Today, the game is played by more than a billion people in 114 countries, and Top Trumps notes that its Portland edition is the state's only licensed version.

Localized licensed editions of the game for cities, states and even entire countries and regions have been produced around the world, including in other languages, along with unlicensed knockoffs. 

More on sponsors

Besides getting prime real estate on the board, the Portland Head Light lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth is featured on all seven denominations of the Monopoly currency, from white 1’s to yellow 500’s.

Restaurant sponsors represented in the game include David’s, the Porthole, Boone’s Fish House and Becky’s Diner and Evo Kitchen + Bar. Geary Brewing Co. and Harbor Fish Market are also included, the latter prominently featured in the center of the board.

Monopoly money
Courtesy / Northeast Media Associates
Monopoly money, featuring images of Portland Head Light.

Hadlock Field, home of the Portland Sea Dogs minor league baseball team, and the Maine Mariners hockey team are also represented. So are the University of Southern Maine, University of New England and Maine College of Art and Design.

“Monopoly is one of America’s classic board games,” Chris Cameron, Sea Dogs vice president for communication and fan experience, told Mainebiz. “Like the game of baseball, it is a part of Americana. The Sea Dogs have always strived to be an integral part of the Portland community and felt it was important for us to be a part of the Portland edition of the classic game.”

Asked about plans to sell the game at Hadlock, Cameron said the team is not sure yet, adding that "we'll make a decision on that this off-season."

Monopoly Portland Edition is now for sale at several local establishments, some of which also plan to sell the game online as well. 

The recommended retail price is $39.99, though the game is priced on Amazon at $44.99.

At Thursday's event, Oakes told Mainebiz he thinks the game is going to be a big hit and that it seems realistic for Sea Bags to break even on the editions it sells.

To kick things off, the Portland-based maker and seller of totes made out of recycled sail cloth will be handing out promotional property cards at its flagship store on Commercial Street.

Don Oakes
Photo / Renee Cordes
Sea Bags CEO Don Oakes at Thursday's event.

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