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Report: Portland had ‘serious’ interest in landing Coyotes

Jul 10, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

Rose Garden

When the City of Glendale agreed to an arena-management agreement with the prospective owners of the Phoenix Coyotes, it was widely reported that the NHL club had narrowly avoided moving to Seattle.

However, based on a report from CSN Northwest, another American city was in the mix to land the franchise should things fall apart in the desert:

….according to a highly placed Portland Trail Blazer source, the Blazers were closely monitoring the situation, had been in discussions with the NHL and were ready to make an offer for the franchise in order to move it to Portland’s Rose Garden, if the lease in Glendale didn’t work out. The interest by the Blazers was considered serious, by the team and the NHL, with much time spent on financial analysis and projections. It is believed the team could consolidate several of its operations to serve both basketball and hockey while adding another full-time tenant for the arena.

Trail Blazer owner Paul Allen was said to be fully on board with the acquisition of the team, as long as the price and terms made financial sense. The Phoenix team is currently owned by the NHL and is valued somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million. The Trail Blazer source said, “Allen continues to be very supportive of investing in things that are good for the Portland market.”

We’ve already written about Portland as a potential NHL market on PHT. If the above report is accurate, perhaps we’ll have to start writing more.

The Portland metro area, with an approximate population of 2.2 million, isn’t as big as Seattle’s (est. 3.5 million); however, it’s larger than current NHL markets like Columbus and Raleigh.

The Rose Garden opened in 1995 and seats over 18,000 for hockey.

In recent NBA seasons, the Trail Blazers have been among the league leaders in attendance.

  1. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Both should be considered – for expansion. The current conference alignment is “problematic” – split 16/14 by having all the EST zone teams in one conference, so WC teams have a better chance of making the playoffs. Bu8t is really a problem is the division 1st playoffs where the 4th seed in one of the divisions could be the 5th best team from the stronger division. So if that team wins the division series that is not their own, how does that make the division championship of any significance.

  2. mrwings787 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Move the yotes to Portland put a team in Seattle and QC and then you have 32 teams with 4 even divisions

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      nope, unless yo0u move either Columbus or DET back west, it would end up 7/15

      • genevaohman52 - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        that is not going to happen leave Columbus in the east and move Detroit back to the west

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      Obviously you’d make putting a team in Seattle contingent on an arena that can fit an economically viable crowd

  3. ray2013 - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    If you were serious about moving the Coyotes, you go with the best situation. Portland is a viable option; until Seattle gets a new rink suitable for hockey, it’s just a paper tiger. Just look at the arenas; 18K versus 11K.

    Hopefully Phoenix area fans come out and support the Coyotes this winter so we can quit hearing about this.

    • Anoesis - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      I’m betting we’ll hear lots more of this.

      • ray2013 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:24 AM

        I am too. I just thought it seemed like a hustle talking about moving to Seattle. If they were serious about moving them, it would seem like Portland & QC would have been a logical choice with Seattle being a distant third.

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