Oregon Trail: Blazers' Chris McGowan Making Presence Felt In First Offseason
Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan's "imprint is all over" the franchise this offseason, as he has "trimmed the business staff, but says he has put more emphasis on areas of 'need,'" according to Kerry Eggers of the PORTLAND TRIBUNE. McGowan said his split from AEG last October "was about having the ability to have more influence on how we’re going to run the building. We need to market in a collaborative and collective manner as opposed to separate staffs.” Eggers notes the Blazers have hired a "new catering service and will make renovations and updates in the club seating and suite areas, though most of those changes won’t be in place" until the '14-15 season. The team last season sold "between 11,000 and 12,000 season tickets" in the 20,500-seat Rose Garden. McGowan said that the club is "on pace to better that next season." He added, "We want to be at about 12,500. I’m encouraged by where we’re at on ticket sales.” He envisions "capping season ticket sales at about 16,500 in the future." The Blazers last season "sold 29 of their 66 luxury suites on a full-season basis," and there are already "commitments for 38 next season." McGowan said that the Blazers are "on pace for increased sponsorship dollars, too, in part because of what he calls a 'unique' partnership between the club and area businesses." Another major project for McGowan in recent months has been "seeking a naming rights sponsor for the Rose Garden -- which, incidentally, is unlikely to carry the 'Rose Garden' moniker when a deal is reached." The Blazers are in "serious negotiations with at least one business with local ties" (PORTLAND TRIBUNE, 8/1).