Management

Step Up For A Portland Trail Blazers Ticket: Buck And A Half

Watching a good movie in a rundown theater costs more than a ticket for Monday night's Portland vs Toronto game.

You can't download a movie from your 'bundle' provider for less than $1.50, but you'll get a deal from RedBox.

The power of sports is part proximity and part outcome. The closer you are, the more you feel the power. You pay to feel the power. Most of the time you pay a lot.

Nobody watches the Blazers on DVD.

The cheapest way to see a Blazer game is free TV on KGW NewsChannel 8.

Costs rise with Comcast SportsNet.

Seeing a game inside the Rose Garden?  Be ready to shell out … $1.50? (Plus fees and service charges.)

An All-Day bus pass on Tri-Met goes for $5.00, $2 for 'Honored Citizens', and $3.30 for youth. With the proper fake I.D. you'll see a major league sporting event in a world class venue for less than you'll pay for a beer when you get there.

For your buck and a half, you'll see million dollar athletes competing at the highest level in the world. Every night in the NBA someone does what's never been done. They jump a little higher, shoot a little longer, Euro-step more dramatically.

And the sell-out crowd goes wild. The big screen says "NOISE" and they bring it. The Wave breaks out. It's a party.

Off in a quiet part of the Blazer empire, you hear pages turning where three former Blazer execs thumb through their calendars. Chief Financial Officer Gregg Olson has ten, one for each year of his Blazer time. Senior Vice President of Tickets and Marketing Michele Daterman has eighteen, Senior Vice President of Human Resources Traci Reandeau has the same.

Gregg, Michele, and Traci join Chief Operating Officer Sarah Mensah at the door held open by new team president Chris McGowan. She had nineteen calendars. Between them, they share sixty-five years of Blazerdom and one month.

The month belongs to team president Chris McGowan. That's the time he's got invested so far.

An old Army lesson applies here regarding twenty year sergeants and newly minted 2nd Lieutenants. You salute the uniform, not the man. The greatest officers all have the same beginnings, from General Eisenhower to General Pataeus, the same as every sergeant starting life as a trainee.

In the Army, Mensah would have been what's called a Mustang, an enlisted person who earned their commission and rose to command rank.

What's Chris McGowan called? The man.

He was chief operating officer of AEG Sports, overseeing LA's Kings and Galaxy. If he's not Hollywood enough, he's from the neighborhood. Maybe he's carrying some Magic Showtime with him, same Laker championship dust to sprinkle around One Center Court.

Or maybe he's a little different.

Fans start each season with one goal, championships for their favorite teams. What is Chris McGowan's goal?

"At the start of every season, your goal is to sell out every game,” he said.

Before you head butt your reading device, remind yourself that professional sports are a part of show business. It's entertainment. Bottom line people focus on dollars and cents. They say things important to the bottom line. You want the new team president to understand Blazer fans are as sophisticated as the fans he's used to.

The Los Angeles Kings won this year's Stanley Cup on his watch. Portland fans know how to react to a championship. They've had practice.

The LA Galaxy are this year’s Major League Soccer Cup winners. Who was the COO? Chris McGowan. The man's got the Midas Touch and he's bringing it to Portland.

If that's not enough, Mr. McGowan comes here with even more weight. Paul Allen's Vulcans headhunted him out of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), who according to Wiki, "is the world's largest owner of sports teams and sports events, the owner of the world’s most profitable sports and entertainment venues, and under AEG Live, the world's second largest presenter of live music and entertainment events (after Live Nation)."

What's that mean to us? McGowan's sat at the big table. He's made big deals. He can talk to Paul Allen and the Vulcans from a Portland point of view in a voice they'll understand. He made the staff cuts that'll show him as either a hatchet man, or one brave enough to carve a new frontier on the banks of the Willamette River.

Will he perform the same magic in Portland that he did in LA? Will Blazer fans join the chase for the championships that follow in Chris McGowan's wake? Or will they go to the beach?

Find out tonight. Skip your next cup of Starbucks coffee and buy a $1.50 Blazer ticket. You'll get change back on that deal.

About Arran Gimba

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