Allen Purchases Rose Garden

The Rose Garden officially belongs to billionaire Paul Allen — again.

Allen’s investment company, Vulcan Inc., said Monday it had completed the acquisition of the Rose Garden Arena under a purchase agreement with Portland Arena Management, the former owner.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Allen built the Rose Garden for his NBA franchise, the Portland Trail Blazers, who had outgrown their old home at the aging Memorial Coliseum. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, also owns the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

But Allen chose to give up Rose Garden ownership in bankruptcy proceedings in 2004 rather than pay interest on construction debt. He financed the arena without public funding.

"This is a major milestone and a positive step for the franchise," Allen said in a statement released by Vulcan.

Allen shopped for a buyer for the Trail Blazers last year. As the team wrapped up one of the worst seasons in franchise history, he publicly complained the Blazers were suffering financial problems.

But his decision earlier this year to repurchase the Rose Garden signaled a turnaround for the team as Allen abandoned sale plans.

"My efforts are focused on continuing to support the Trail Blazers and the long-term financial health of the franchise," Allen said.

The $262 million Rose Garden Arena opened in the fall of 1995 and seats about 20,000. It also hosts concerts and other events, and is the home of the Portland Winter Hawks, a Western Hockey League team, and the Portland LumberJax of the National Lacrosse League.