Sunday, December 4, 2022

Seahawks and Trail Blazers are not for sale, says team chair Jody Allen

As rumors about the future ownership of the Seahawks have circulated the last few months, there has been no official statement from the team about its direction.

That changed Tuesday when the Seahawks released a statement from team chair Jody Allen affirming that neither the Seahawks nor the Portland Trail Blazers are for sale.

Portland had previously released a statement saying the Blazers were not for sale in the wake of the team getting a written offer from Nike founder Phil Knight, and Allen’s statement Tuesday included both teams in asserting “as we’ve stated before, neither of the teams is for sale and there are no sales discussions happening.”

Her statement did confirm that, eventually, most of the assets of her brother, Paul G. Allen, must be sold. Paul Allen died in October 2018, and Jody Allen took over as the trustee of his trust, which includes being team chair of the Seahawks and Blazers.

But her statement said there is no timeline for any sale.

“The time will come when that changes given Paul’s plans to dedicate the vast majority of his wealth to philanthropy,” her statement read, alluding to the teams not being for sale for now, “but estates of this size and complexity can take 10 to 20 years to wind down. There is no pre-ordained timeline by which the teams must be sold.”

The statement was the most definitive Allen has made regarding the future of the team since taking over as chair. She has given no interviews and has generally had a low profile.

But she has been more visible in recent months, having released a strongly-worded statement backing the decision to trade quarterback Russell Wilson and also attending the first two days of the 2022 NFL draft at the team’s headquarters in Renton, the team publishing pictures of her as well as including her in a behind-the-scenes video.

Jody Allen’s statement began by saying that as chair of both teams her “long-term focus is building championship teams that our communities are proud of. Like my brother Paul, I trust and expect our leaders and coaches to build winning teams that deliver results on and off the court and field.”

As The Seattle Times reported last month, the Seahawks also cannot be sold until May 2, 2024 without having to pay 10% of the gross selling price of the team to the Public Stadium Authority.

That clause was included in Referendum 48, which was passed in 1997 and funded the construction of Lumen Field, which was a condition of Paul Allen’s purchase of the team from Ken Behring.

Paul Allen paid $194 million for the team.

A sale agreement was reached last month for the Denver Broncos to be sold for $4.65 billion, and the Seahawks would almost certainly have a similar value.

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