Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Clock is ticking for Sonics -- Portland on the list, too

Sorry, I haven't had much time recently to follow what is going on in Seattle.

How does this relate to hockey? If an NBA team decides to relocate, and KC is the place, there will not be an NHL team in the Sprint Center...heck, there may not be an AHL team either.

Clock is ticking for city, Sonics to reach deal

The City and the Sonics need to strike a deal within the next few days for the Washington Legislature to consider a $200 million Key Arena overhaul.

See...a vibrant downtown and a new arena is not a guarantee of success. Seattle has one of the best downtowns of any city in America and a 10-year old arena, yet they are still trying to find a way to make the Seattle Center, the area around the arena which includes the Experience Music Project and the Space Needle, profitable.

The Legislature may extend "visitor taxes", which helped fund the new stadiums for the Seagals and the Mariners.


Stern wants Blazer ownership issue resolved by June

Paul Allen may sell the team.

The Blazers have a convoluted agreement with the Rose Garden, in which the Blazers do not operate the arena or have access to 4,000 of the 20,000 seats in the arena. The revenue from those seats goes to Portland Arena Management, the entity that operates the arena.

So, David Stern is trying to help the Blazers and the Arena Management company come up with an agreement that helps keep the Blazers competitive.

Could the franchise move?

"“I don'’t want to start playing that game,"” Stern said. "“I would say I wouldn'’t rule out circumstances under which the franchise could be moved, although I am planning to dedicate hours and hours of my time and my staff and lawyers’ efforts to ensure in a positive way that doesn't happen. I want to see whether we can't come up with a long-term situation that keeps the Blazers in Oregon and playing at the Rose Garden."”

Of course, there is no mention of the fact that the Blazers are one of the worst run franchises in the NBA. They continue to throw tons of money at unproven players and malcontents.

Good God, if the Blazers moved to KC they would be a hard team for which to root.

If the Blazers left Portland, I would think they'd move to the top of the NHL's list. An NHL team would be the only game in town (like the Bluejackets in Columbus) and Portland has decent history of attendance for the WHL team, the Winterhawks.

Commitment begins at the top with Allen

It's frustrating enough to witness the demise of a franchise that delivered playoff teams for 21 consecutive seasons. But Blazers fans now have more to worry about -- namely the financial future of their beloved team.

Emissaries from owner Paul Allen have been passing the hat with local political leaders, signaling something significant is up regarding the Trail Blazers' future. The team has been bleeding dough ever since Allen's Oregon Arena Corp. declared bankruptcy and the creditors took back the Rose Garden and its revenue engines.

Here's another scathing article of how awful the Blazers have been.

Roses aside, things not pretty in Portland

I love this quote.
Imagine flushing bagfuls of cash down your garbage disposal, then telling the landlord at your posh apartment that a little help is necessary because you’re tired of losing so much money.

If voters in Oregon had gone to the polls and elected to give long-term, expensive deals to players such as Damon Stoudamire, Rasheed Wallace, Theo Ratliff, Derek Anderson, Zach Randolph and Darius Miles; voted to trade Jermaine O’Neal for Dale Davis; or marched on the state capitol to demand Shawn Kemp be added to a team that had just reached Game 7 of the Western Conference finals — then the Blazers might have a legitimate beef.


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