Allen listening to at least two offers for the Blazers
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  1. BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 03/29/2012 11:13 AM

    By DWIGHT JAYNES (@dwightjaynes)

    Portland Trail Blazer owner Paul Allen is once again entertaining offers to sell the team, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.


    At least two groups have apparently approached Allen, who briefly put the team on the market in the spring of 2006 before apparently changing his mind and withdrawing it. At that time, it was reported that as many as 14 groups expressed an interest in purchasing the team and its arena, the Rose Garden, and were asked to pay a $100,000 application fee to validate their interest.


    So it must be emphasized that while Allen may be listening to offers, as he did previously, there are no guarantees he will be able to bring himself to part with the team that has been a big part of his life for more than two decades.


    This time, apparently two groups have expressed serious interest in buying the franchise, even though Trail Blazer officials have repeatedly denied the team is for sale.


    Trail Blazer president Larry Miller Thursday morning denied knowledge of any talks with prospective buyers.


    "My reaction is that I know absolutely nothing about that," Miller said. "I have no knowledge of any groups that have been talking to anyone down here, that’s for sure. I would assume if that were the case I would know about it.


    "In the past, when Paul was thinking about it, I was in the loop. But that went away. Could there be something going on? Maybe...but I don't think so."


    One of those interested groups is said to be based in Los Angeles and the other is said to be a local group. One of the prospective purchasing groups is far enough along in discussions that it has scheduled a trip to the Rose Quarter to look at the team’s books and assess the arena.


    It has been emphasized that neither group has any interest in moving the team out of Portland. The team’s lease and “exclusive site agreement” – which was personally guaranteed by Allen’s signature -- ensures the team cannot be moved through 2023.


    Forbes Magazine’s assessment of NBA franchises ranks the Trail Blazers' worth at No. 13 in the league, with a value of $370 million. The value of the Portland franchise, I’ve been told, would be affected by the situation with the Rose Garden and how much debt is remaining on that arena. A realistic sale price could be in the area of $400 million.


    The Rose Garden cost $262 million to build and reportedly $155 million of that was financed by a loan that Allen refused to personally guarantee. Thus, he paid a higher interest rate (8.99 percent) than normal. He declared bankruptcy on the arena in 2004, a move often thought to be an attempt to lower his interest rate.


    That strategy led to creditors taking over the Rose Garden for two years, during which it was operated by Global Spectrum. On Feb. 2, 2007, Allen’s umbrella sports company, Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, announced it had reacquired the arena. But terms have never been announced and it isn’t known how much money remains to be paid on any loans.


    The team is otherwise very well positioned for sale. There are only two long-term player contracts above rookie scale, that of LaMarcus Aldridge (three more years at a little more than $42 million) and Wesley Matthews (three more years at about $20 million). There is no general manager or coach, leaving new ownership with a clean slate to set its own course.


    Allen purchased the team for $70 million on May 31, 1988, at the age of 35 from Beverly Hills real estate magnate Larry Weinberg. It was a stunning announcement at the time because there had been no indication Weinberg was interested in selling and no hint that Allen wanted an NBA team.


    Allen, it is believed, would wish to sell the team in a similarly quiet manner. And even if he gets $400 million for the team, he will have lost substantial sums throughout his ownership tenure. The team is believed to have suffered high yearly operating losses, in part because of Allen’s desire to win through high player payrolls.


    There are persistent reports that after Allen’s second and most recent bout with cancer (he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2009 after beating Hodgkins lymphoma more than 20 years previously) he has done some reevaluating of what he wants to do with the rest of his life.


    He recently announced plans to finance the construction of the largest airplane ever built, designed for manned space travel that would allow citizens, albeit wealthy ones, to travel into space.


    Allen also owns the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders but it’s possible his interest in what he’s always said is his first love, the Trail Blazers, could be waning.


    The team is facing a rebuilding effort this off-season and Allen may not want to go through that process again, particularly if he has health concerns.


    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 03/29/2012 12:20 PM

    Paul Allen refutes all rumors-

    I am a fan of
  1. BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 03/29/2012 12:32 PM

    Watch, in the next couple of weeks he will announce the sale!
    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. Tiki Kienle
    Tiki Kienle
    Posts: 283

    Posted 03/29/2012 2:38 PM

    Well, Blazers stay in Portland till 2023, and your post said he has gotten local offers. So worst case scenario, Blazers get sold in 2023 and that local interest will make their own team. Heck, Portland already has established NBA fans so it sounds like a flawless investment....  

    I'm not even worried about it.

    I love Portland more than basketball, so as long as Portland has an NBA team, sign me up.
    I am a fan of Skype (BeLiKiN33), Heroes Of Newerth (DKTiki), NBA (Blazers), NFL (KC Chiefs), Japan, Education, Hermitting, Gaming and women.
  1. BlazerManiac
    Posts: 777

    Posted 03/29/2012 2:58 PM

    If I lived in Portland I would have season Tix. Since I live in So Cal I have to live with NBA League Pass.
    I am a fan of WES, the heart and soul of the Blazers.
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 03/29/2012 11:54 PM

    Sell it, make some money. Blazers have been a fun, but very disappointing financial investment for Mr. Allen.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. BDawg
    Posts: 1593

    Posted 03/30/2012 7:03 AM

    As I have written, both interim GM Chad Buchanan and lead NBA scout Michael Born have contracts ending THIS year fact, immediately after the draft.  Both gentlemen have performed admirably behind the scenes, and really, in my estimation, have not been given due credit (nor would they probably want it).  Even more interesting, with the organization finally closing the door on the Big Three dream era and moving in a new direction...BOTH ARE KP HIRES and therefore last men standing from that era.  This is NOT being talked about, however adding these two key positions to the already existing long list of vacancies certainly seems indicative of an impending sale.

    Isn't it possible that Allen had his mind set on certain criteria being met coming out of the labor dispute and had been setting the table prior, so that if need be, he could stop defending this small market with both his heart and wallet?  Hypothetically, that being the case, makes the firing of Rich Cho much more understandable.  Successfully battling cancer TWICE only to see his dream implode in one day with the three announcements?  Remember, he was the hard-liner owner that sat at the negotiating table, presumably wanting what all small markets desire...opportunity for parody.  Honestly, that didn't happen...rumors now of Nash wanting to now take HIS talents to South Beach.  Ridiculous.  The league cannot survive with 3 or 4 good teams and nobody else.

    Devil's advocate, and all that said...just because there is interest in BUYING the Blazers, doesn't mean there is interest in SELLING the team.  A distinction not lost with this fan.  Can THIS organization in THIS market survive without the richest owner in professional sports?  Good question and one I hope we don't have to revisit any time soon.
    I am a fan of players that play with PASSION and PRIDE
  1. mbmurr1
    Posts: 530

    Posted 03/30/2012 4:45 PM

    You make good points(no coach, low salaries, no GM) clean slate. At 400 million, did he lose 330 million over the last 24 years? I hope someone who loves the Blazers buys the team, not just an investor looking to make a buck down the road.    
    I am a fan of
  1. Posted 04/01/2012 6:25 PM

    chi-town should buy the blazers
    I am a fan of the bulls beating the blazers
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