NHL Competition In Portland?

Was Paul Allen ready to swoop in and snatch the Phoenix Coyotes away from his home town?

Comcast Sportsnet is reporting that Paul Allen was prepared to make a play for the Phoenix Coyotes, had the council vote gone the other way, and spirit them away to Portland to play in the Rose Garden.

You can read the story by clicking here.

Here is a key passage from the article.

... 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."

This is somewhat surprising, but should it be? The Rose Garden is a nice arena and, apparently, NHL compliant. Why wouldn't Portland want the NHL?

So what does this mean for the future? Competition for expansion and relocation?

Should we be upset with Paul Allen? I'm not, but I can see how some might be.

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