SBD/April 28, 2014/Franchises

Trail Blazers Could Reach Profitability Goal This Year With Long Postseason Run

Blazers sold 560 standing-room only tickets well before last night's Game 4 tip-off
Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan on Friday reiterated that the team is "on track to be profitable" following the '15-16 season, but he admitted that going deep into the playoffs this season "could result in the franchise reaching its profitability goal earlier than that forecast," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. McGowan said, "We're achieving our financial objectives as an organization. We're on a three-year plan. You look at trends and how you project out over a course of a season ... based on where we think we're going to go, we're going to achieve that profitability I've been talking about." Brettman reported about 35% of fans who bought single-game tickets this year "had never purchased tickets through the Blazers before." McGowan noted, "That's an amazing figure." He added, "You just want to make sure you're capitalizing on the opportunity to convert people. We don't want to leave any stones unturned. We don't want to look back and say, 'Hey, we missed some opportunities.' We had a two-hour staff meeting [Friday] with 20 or so employees who manage various areas of the organization to make sure that as we continue on in the playoffs we're not missing anything, whether its food, fanfest, great merchandise (or) re-engaging with people who left the fold the last several years and inviting them back. Here's a good opportunity to talk to people again" (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/26).

PACKING THEM IN: The OREGONIAN's Brettman reports the Trail Blazers for Game 4 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Rockets last night "sold out their supply of 560 standing-room only tickets well before" the 9:30pm ET start. Team officials were "anticipating a sell-out and final attendance approaching or matching" the 20,302 fans that attended Game 3 Friday night (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/28). Meanwhile, the team "typically keeps a handful of tickets set aside for celebrities at all games." Among those scheduled to attend Game 3 were U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Portland native and Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, and NFL prospect and former Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks. It has been "at least two years" since Nike co-Founder & Chair Phil Knight attended a Blazers game (OREGONLIVE.com, 4/25).
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