PRESIDENT & CEO of the PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS & ROSE QUARTER
Named Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter President & Chief Executive Officer in October 2012, Chris McGowan moved to the Pacific Northwest from Los Angeles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), where he spent 16 years, including a final assignment as Chief Operating Officer of AEG Sports, before becoming one of the NBA’s youngest CEOs.
McGowan oversees all of the day-to-day business operations of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter. Since joining the organization, the Trail Blazers & Rose Quarter have seen dramatic increases in all key revenue areas including ticket sales, sponsorship, retail, arena, and food and beverage.
In 2013, McGowan led a strategic business restructuring to self-operate the Moda Center, Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Rose Quarter campus. Through a significant partnership with Live Nation and revamped event ticketing systems under partner Ticketmaster, McGowan has driven growth and a variety of events to the Rose Quarter, including Billy Joel, Katy Perry, Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars, Jay-Z, and college basketball tournament PK80 - Phil Knight Invitational.
McGowan has been at the forefront of several major venue and technological improvements to the Rose Quarter campus and Trail Blazers Practice Facility, including $16 million in capital improvements in 2014. He has taken advantage of Portland’s thriving and unique food culture by bringing some of the city’s most popular restaurants to the Moda Center, establishing the arena as a destination for local fare. In 2013, McGowan led the transition to Levy Restaurants as the Rose Quarter’s new food and beverage partner, which has provided an award-winning food and beverage vision.
In 2017, McGowan’s role expanded to include being named President, Vulcan Arts + Entertainment (VA+E), a newly-formed entity under Vulcan, Inc., parent company of the Trail Blazers. In that role, McGowan leads the strategic business direction of the entire VA+E portfolio, which includes Upstream Music Fest + Summit, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop), Seattle Art Fair, and more.
McGowan earned his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Delaware in 1996, where he was captain of the soccer team. Chris, his wife Susan, and their two sons, Ryan (14) and Kyle (12), reside in Southwest Portland.
Eyes Wide Open: What’s Keeping Team Presidents and C-Level Executives Up at Night?
This kickoff roundtable discussion sets the tone for the day, as these executives discuss the biggest issues they face in running their businesses and the trends they are monitoring. As today’s franchise heads manage multiple areas of business, you’ll hear how they monitor the day-to-day operations while keeping an eye on the future.