NBA Franchise Notes: McGowan Aims To Keep Blazers' Sellout Streak Alive
In Portland, Mike Tokito writes new Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan will “bring an expertise in ticket sales, an open mind and a willingness to let the basketball staff run the basketball operations.” McGowan said that he has “spent most of his career trying to sell out arenas and believes he can help try to keep the [Blazers 192-game sellout] streak alive.” GM Neil Olshey said that he “preferred a new president who could handle the team’s business affairs while allowing Olshey the space to run basketball operations.” Tokito notes 60 of the team’s games are on Comcast SportsNet Northwest, which is “not available on several major non-Comcast Cable providers.” Newly appointed Vulcan Sports & Entertainment CEO Peter McLoughlin said that he “intends to speak with” NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus and NBC Sports Group President Jon Litner, whose company runs the CSN RSNs. McLoughlin: “Now that I’m in this role, I intend to get into it with them and see what I can do to help” (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/31).
SUNS RISE: In Phoenix, Paul Coro notes the Suns “have been able to get close to a 90 percent renewal rate on season tickets.” Suns President Jason Rowley said that the team is “approaching the 9,500 mark for full-season-equivalent ticket sales.” Coro adds that number is “on par with the league’s renewal rate that has it on pace to set a record for season-ticket revenue.” Rowley said that the Suns are “'up significantly’ from last season’s total while the league has seen a 15 percent bump in season-ticket sales.” The Suns and Phoenix invested $3M and $7M, respectively, in “replacements and repairs this summer on the 20-year-old city-owned arena, including more than 7,000 new seats” at U.S. Airways Center. The “entire upper deck is getting new seating, with about 90 percent of it in place.” All suite seats and those in the Blue Moon Club, “the prime lower-bowl seats formerly known as Toyota Club, have been replaced.” The remainder of seats will be “replaced by next year” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/31).
AD SENSE: In S.F., Rusty Simmons noted the Warriors hired advertising firm MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER to “develop the team’s TV commercials to tip off the season.” The commercials, which were “shot in September when the players were working out in Oakland, are currently running in the Bay Area and feature players training on the court and in the gym” (SFGATE.com, 10/30).