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Harlan: Portland Mayor Charlie Hales Refers To "Moda Center" Name As "Head-Scratcher"

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales doesn't know quite what to make of the Portland Trail Blazers' decision to partner with Moda Health to rename the "Rose Garden" arena to "Moda Center."

@TrailBlazersPR

Kohr Harlan of KOIN.com reports that Portland Mayor Charlie Hales doesn't know quite what to make of the Portland Trail Blazers' decision to partner with Moda Health to rename the "Rose Garden" arena to "Moda Center."

"It's a little bit of a head scratcher for me," Hales told KOIN 6 News. "I liked the Rose Garden name because it had something to do with the city. I wish them luck in getting the new name to stick."

...

The mayor said the city has an interest in the success of the arena and support for the team.

"I hope this disturbance in the force gets resolved in a way that everyone gets along and supports the team."

Hales was quoted in the press release announcing the name change earlier this week as follows...

"We know it's always a blend of the right civic organizations and the right business partners," Mayor Hales said. "In that, I suppose, it's not too different from a coach picking a starting five. The Trail Blazers and Moda Health: that's a great combination."

The Blazers announced the Moda Center name change at a press conference earlier this week. Here's a transcript.

The initial reaction was decidedly negative. Blazers president Chris McGowan offered this response to Blazersedge...

"We just felt Moda Center was iconic, it's short, it's easy to remember, it rolls off the tongue really well. I think once people realize what these types of deals do for our organization in terms of taking us to another level, they'll adapt [to] it.

"We're conscious of [negative feelings towards name change]. We want to make sure they understand why we did the deal and we'll be monitoring it and talking to people if they are completely upset, but we don't anticipate it will be a large number of people."

McGowan also took questions right here.

As elf2elf noted in the FanShots, there's a change.org petition circling to keep the Rose Garden name.

Photo via @TrailBlazersPR

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter