Rose Garden Arena

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Rose Quarter/Rose Garden
Image:rosegardlogo.gif

Location 1 Center Court
Portland, Oregon 97227
Broke ground 1993
Opened October, 1995
Owner Vulcan Sports and Entertainment
Operator Global Spectrum
Construction cost $262 million USD
Architect Ellerbe Becket
Tenants
Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) (1995-present)
Portland Winter Hawks (WHL) (1995-present)
Portland LumberJax (NLL) (2006-present)
Portland Forest Dragons (AFL) (1997-1999)
Portland Pythons (WISL) (1998-1999)
Portland Fire (WNBA) (2000-2002)
Capacity
Basketball: 19,980
Hockey/Lacrosse:17,544
Center stage: approx. 20,500
End Stage: approx. 15,000
"Theatre of the Clouds": approx. 5,000
Inside of Rose Garden Arena (with old Blazers woodmark design).
Inside of Rose Garden Arena (with old Blazers woodmark design).

The Rose Garden Arena is the main indoor sports arena in Portland, Oregon, USA. It is owned by Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, a holding company owned by Paul Allen, and is currently managed by Global Spectrum, a company which manages sports facilities (and which also owns several sports franchises). The primary tenant is the Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchise, also owned by Allen.

The arena, which opened on October 12, 1995 with a ceremony to honor Blazers' fans and the construction workers who built it, was originally capable of seating 20,340 spectators for NBA basketball. Its capacity has since been reduced to 19,980 by subsequent modifications. At the time of its construction, the arena was a state-of-the-art facility. The first regular season game to be played at the Rose Garden was the Trail Blazers hosting the then-Vancouver Grizzlies on November 3, 1995.

Contents

[edit] History

Ground on the arena was broken in 1993 on a site which was formerly part of the parking lot for nearby Memorial Coliseum. The name was chosen both to reflect the Portland's well-known status as the Rose City, and also in reference to the famous Boston Garden and Madison Square Garden arenas in Boston and New York City, respectively. The arena was initially owned by the Oregon Arena Corporation, a private corporation whose sole shareholder was Allen. Its construction was funded in part by a $155 million loan from a consortium of lenders who included TIAA-CREF, Prudential Insurance, and Farmers Insurance.

The Rose Garden was designed by the architectural firm Ellerbe Becket of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The financing of the Rose Garden construction was widely hailed at the time of a good example of public-private partnership: most of the costs were borne by Allen rather than by taxpayers. The primary public contribution to the project was the transfer of the underlying land. The City of Portland owns the adjacent Memorial Coliseum and parking garages, but all are managed by the same group managing the Rose Garden. This deal occurred in an era in which it was common for team owners to demand public financing of new arenas and stadiums (using the threat of moving the sports franchise as leverage).

The final price tag for the Rose Garden, office building, entertainment complex, three new garages and renovation to Memorial Coliseum was $262 million.

[edit] Amenities

The Rose Garden is a multipurpose arena which is suitable for numerous indoor sports, including basketball, ice hockey, arena football, and lacrosse, as well as for hosting other events such as concerts, conventions, and circuses. The arena has a seating capacity of 19,980 for basketball. When configured for hockey or lacrosse, capacity decreases to 17,544. The arena supports several different concert configurations as well.

Arena seating is divided into two primary sections, separated by skyboxes. The seating below the skyboxes, known as the lower bowl, is further divided into the 100 and 200 levels; the upper bowl is known as the 300 level.

TriMet maintains a transit center just south of the arena, including the MAX Light Rail stations and several bus lines serve the Rose Quarter. In addition, the MAX Yellow Line stops at the separate Interstate/Rose Quarter station on the western side. The Rose Quarter is located on the east bank of the Willamette River in the Lloyd District across from downtown. Nearby landmarks include the Steel Bridge, the Oregon Convention Center, and the Eastbank Esplanade.

[edit] Events and tenants

[edit] Sports teams

The arena's current primary tenant is the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA. It is also home to the junior hockey team Portland Winter Hawks of the WHL and the Portland LumberJax, an NLL expansion team that began play in January 2006. Both the Trail Blazers and Winter Hawks played in the Memorial Coliseum and moved to the Rose Garden when it was completed in 1995. However, the Rose Garden and the Memorial Coliseum split Winter Hawks home games during the season.

The arena was also built to accommodate a NHL franchise and there has been speculation over the years about Portland landing a team. However, this has not yet occurred.

In 1997, an AFL team landed in Portland from Memphis as the Portland Forest Dragons. Two seasons later, they relocated to Oklahoma City.

The Rose Garden did host the 2000 WNBA expansion team Portland Fire; however the team folded in 2002.

The Rose Garden and Portland Winter Hawks hold the Western Hockey League's record for single game attendance with a crowd of 19,103 on March 15, 1997. The Winter Hawks tied the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-6.

[edit] Other Events

The venue hosted several WWE events, a rarity in Oregon, including Unforgiven in 2004 and a Raw show earlier in that year. Smackdown! also came to Portland in May 2006. Raw is slated to come back to the Rose Garden on February 12, 2007.

In the Winter of 2005, the Rose Quarter hosted the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

In 2004, Portland, was selected as one of five cities in the U.S. to host the Dew Action Sports Tour, a new extreme sports franchise to start in 2005. Titled the Vans Invitational, the event was held at the Rose Quarter from August 17-21. The Rose Quarter hosted BMX: Dirt and Freestyle Motocross. The Dew Action Sports will return to Portland for a third year.

A number of rock concerts have also occurred at the venue. The first concert held in the Rose Garden was David Bowie with Nine Inch Nails. In November 2005 alone, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney both played the arena.

The Rose Quarter Arena hosted the 2007 NLL All Star Game on March 10, 2007.

In 2009, the Rose Garden will host first- and second-round games of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. It will be the first time NCAA men's tournament games are played in the state of Oregon since 1983.

The arena remains a popular venue for concerts, ice shows, and other large events.

[edit] Oregon Arena Corporation Bankruptcy

Rose Garden Arena
Rose Garden Arena

Claiming the local economy was responsible for reduced revenues which made it unable to make payments on that loan, the Oregon Arena Corporation filed for bankruptcy on 2004-02-27. The bankruptcy proceedings began 2004-09-09.

Several factors contributed to the bankruptcy. The initial loan was made on terms unfavorable to Oregon Arena Corporation (above-market interest coupled with no ability to make early repayment). The 2003-05-01 opening of the Clark County Amphitheater in nearby Vancouver, Washington provided the Rose Quarter with significant competition as a concert venue. The Portland Trail Blazers (also owned by Allen) were not drawing as well due to negative press (a number of Blazers ran afoul of the law and the team was derided as the "Jail Blazers" in the media) and a decline in quality of play. Many of the corporations leasing skyboxes in the arena (a primary source of revenue) declined to renew leases.

The bankruptcy filing was widely criticized in the local media and elsewhere. Allen, a billionaire, clearly had sufficient personal assets to repay the loan in full. As the Oregon Arena Corporation was a separate legal entity, Allen had no legal responsibility to do so; however the bankruptcy filing was perceived as an example of a wealthy individual taking advantage of "loopholes" in the law (the separate legal status of OAC) to get out from under a debt he was simply unwilling to pay. However, the terms of the loan specifically prevented early repayment, and the creditors were unwilling to waive the terms of that agreement.

As a result of the bankruptcy proceedings, the Oregon Arena Corporation was dissolved and their assets (primarily the Rose Quarter and attached structures) became the property of the lenders. The lenders formed Portland Arena Management and hired Global Spectrum to operate the arena. Portland Arena Management has since invested millions of dollars into refurbishing the arena.

On February 2, 2007, Allen (through his subsidiary Vulcan) and PAE announced that the parties had signed a letter-of-intent for Allen to repurchase the arena. [1]. On April 2 of that year, the deal was completed. Terms of the purchase agreement were not disclosed.

[edit] External links


Preceded by
Memorial Coliseum
19701995
Home of the
Portland Trail Blazers
1995–present
Succeeded by
current


Coordinates: 45°31′53.44″N, 122°40′0.35″W

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Western Conference Eastern Conference
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Eastern Conference Western Conference
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Current arenas in the National Lacrosse League
Eastern Division Western Division
Air Canada Centre | Blue Cross Arena | HSBC Arena | Madison Square Garden1 | Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum2 | Sears Centre | Wachovia Center | Xcel Energy Center HP Pavilion | Jobing.com Arena | Pengrowth Saddledome | Pepsi Center | Rexall Place | Rose Garden Arena
1The New York Titans play four of their home games at Madison Square Garden.
2The New York Titans play four of their home games at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

 

Notable Portland, Oregon architecture
 Skyscrapers: Wells Fargo Center | US Bancorp Tower | KOIN Center | PacWest Center | Fox Tower | Standard Insurance Center | Congress Center | Hatfield U.S. Courthouse | ODS Tower | 1000 Broadway | Union Bank of California Tower | Lloyd Center Tower 

 Other buildings: Meier & Frank Building | Benson Hotel | Commonwealth (Equitable) Building | Portland Public Service Building | Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall | Oregon Convention Center | Union Station | Pittock Mansion | Pioneer Courthouse 
Stadiums: Rose Garden Arena | Memorial Coliseum | PGE Park

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