I don’t care how rich Paul Allen is, it wouldn’t be easy for him to relocate the Blazers to Seattle. Just to remind you, because nobody else spends much time talking about it, the “exclusive site agreement” Allen signed makes leaving town very problematic.
“In the event of a breach of this agreement by TBI (Trail Blazers Inc.) or Allen,” Section 4 begins, “the city will suffer both damages compensable by the payment of money, and damages (that) will not be compensable by money and … will be irreparable.”
If he tries to move the team, the city can ask for a judge to issue an injunction to prevent it. The document also stipulates that a prospective purchaser of the team would “agree … without modification or qualification, with the covenants and restrictions applicable to Allen set forth in this agreement.”
That, of course, means that the agreement also would apply to someone like Bob Whitsitt attempting to buy the team and moving it out of town.
This agreement is rare, in that Allen personally – not a representative on behalf of the team – signed it. That would mean his personal wealth, rather than his team’s questionable value, would be threatened.
Kudos to whoever drew up that agreement on behalf of the city of Portland. As they pony up for expensive stadiums (listen up Sacramento!) other city governments should follow suit.