Allen’s Rose Garden Redux

Microsoft co-founder and Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen recently announced plans to repurchase the Rose Garden Arena by acquiring owner Portland Arena Management through an affiliate of his holding company Vulcan Inc.

Allen relinquished ownership of the Rose Garden to PAM after declaring bankruptcy in 2004. The facility had suffered financially, facing steep declines in attendance over the years. Allen’s creditors hired Global Spectrum to serve as facility manager for the complex following bankruptcy proceedings.

Last year, Allen hinted the team was also in financial trouble. Vulcan and PAM struggled to find common ground on an agreement that would allow the team and the building to be sold together – making the Blazers more desirable for a buyer.

But by signing a letter of intent to purchase PAM, Allen said Vulcan is taking steps to bolster the team’s finances.

"With this letter of intent, we’ve taken a positive step forward. Assuming this deal gets finalized, it will be a major milestone which will strengthen the long-term financial health of the Trail Blazers," Allen said in a statement.

And pending approval of the deal, Thomas Luther, PAM’s chairman of the board, announced that the team’s whereabouts will be secured, as last year’s discussions of a sale could have meant the team would be blazing trails elsewhere.

"PAM is pleased to have reached an agreement with Vulcan to ensure that the Trail Blazers will remain in Portland," Luther said in a statement. "The team has long been an integral part of the community, and we believe this resolution benefits all interested parties – PAM’s members, the City of Portland, and the team and its fans."