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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Paul Allen Has "Come To Terms" With His NBA Franchise’s Losses

Losing money is a hard thing for a businessman to take. Especially if you are a billionaire, like Paul Allen, who made his billions as a co-founder of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) with Bill Gates.

Being able to own a professional sports franchise has to be one of the coolest things in the world, and Allen has two of them. But after purchasing the Portland Trailblazers in 1988, it has becoming painfully apparent that his NBA team isn’t returning to is glory days, and is going to continue to lose money.

Allen told The Oregonian newspaper in Los Angeles on Friday night that he has come to terms with selling the trailblazers and relieving himself of the burden of losing millions of dollars each year in futile efforts to keep his team afloat. The team has the worst record in the NBA this season, and is stuck with one of the worst contract situations with its home, the Rose Garden. While billionaire owners are always crying foul when it come to wanting public funds to help build facilities for their private franchises, the tactic seemed to work for Allen’s NFL franchise, the defending NFC Champs the Seattle Seahawks.

There was already plenty of heat from fans and financial trouble for Allen to deal with already in his sports ventures. He announced the official hunt for a buyer for The Sporting News magazine and syndicated radio network in February, which has suffered its share of problems with generating revenue and being dealt a mighty blow by the United States Department of Justice after agreeing in January to a $7.2 million settlement after being accused of promoting Internet gambling by taking advertisements for online casinos abroad.

Former Trail Blazers guard Terry Porter is currently the head of an Paul Allen-esque effort to round up potential investors interested in buying the team and the Rose Garden, in a effort to save the franchise and keep it in Oregon. Minus the billions in personal assets, of course.

- Allen Has ‘Come To Terms’ With Selling Blazers (MSNBC)
- Porter Trying To Assemble Group To Buy Trail Blazers (Yahoo! News)
- Sporting News Is Formally Seeking A Buyer (New York Times)
- All Bets Are Off, Online Anyway (Wired News)

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