Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports that the Portland Trail Blazers will not renew their contract with AEG to operate the Rose Garden.
The Portland Trail Blazers and AEG Facilities have agreed to mutually part ways. AEG's contract expires June 30 and effective July 1, Trail Blazers Incorporated/RIP City Management will self-operate the Rose Garden. Vice President, General Manger of Rose Quarter Operations Chris Oxley will now oversee Rip City Management.
"We'll have an arena staff and team staff working together. One organization connected under one owner. For us, it made sense to self-operate," Trail Blazers President Chris McGowan told CSNNW.com. "I would like to thank AEG for being outstanding partners over the years and we look forward to continuing a positive business relationship with them in the future."
Update (Thursday): The Blazers issued this statement on Thursday confirming the report.
"Trail Blazers, Inc. /Rip City Management (TBI/RCM) is continuing to implement its restructure initiative across all areas of operation. In full support of that, AEG Facilities and TBI/RCM mutually agreed to allow our Rose Quarter and Rose Garden Arena management contract to expire at the end of its current term. Rip City Management and the Trail Blazers would like to thank AEG for being outstanding partners for the past five years and value the many accomplishments achieved in partnership between our two organizations.
This change has positioned the TBI/RCM organization to return back to a self-operating facilities model much like what was in place when the Rose Garden opened 18 years ago. We look forward to continuing a positive business relationship with AEG going into the future."
The Blazers partnered with AEG, a giant in the entertainment management industry, back in 2008.
Here's the press release announcing the partnership.
The agreement, announced by Bob Newman, Chief Operating Officer, AEG Facilities and Mike Golub, Chief Operating Officer for the Portland Trail Blazers, will take effect July 1.
"We are extremely excited to partner with AEG, the fastest-growing facility management group and one of the most dynamic sports and entertainment companies in the World," Golub said. "AEG brings an unparalleled collection of assets, resources, experience and expertise. This partnership will bring more events to the Rose Quarter and help us provide our guests the best possible fan experience."
Executive members of the AEG Facilities staff will work directly with the management team at the Rose Quarter to secure a Rose Garden naming rights partner, spur development of the Rose Quarter campus, further corporate sustainability initiatives, secure new events, generate additional revenue growth and create new revenue streams for the organization.
"We are very pleased to enter into this partnership and affiliation with the Rose Quarter and the Trail Blazers organization," said Newman. "We believe in the Portland market and look forward to working with the management of venues that have continually set new standards of success in our industry."
Glancing at that list of goals, the Rose Garden is still without a naming rights holder and there hasn't been a ton of development progress in the Rose Quarter area despite lots of talk (Who remembers Jumptown?). The Rose Garden did achieve LEED gold certification for sustainability back in 2010.
Back in January, McGowan decided to partner with Premier Partnerships to pursue Rose Garden naming rights.
Blazers president Chris McGowan came to the Blazers from AEG Sports in 2012, where he worked with the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings and Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy.
Arash Markazi of ESPNLA.com reported in March that the Anschutz Company, which owns AEG and was trying to sell it, opted to pull it back off the market earlier this year. As that decision played out, AEG president Tim Leiweke, a mentor and "good friend" to McGowan, parted ways with the company.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter