Could Portland be the next city to get an NFL team?
With the recent passing of Paul Allen, owner of the Portland Trailblazers and the Seattle Seahawks, the future of football in the Pacific Northwest could be drastically changed in the coming years. Early reports are that the Seahawks could be sold, but it would be shocking if they didn’t stay put in Seattle. Also shocking is the price tag to buy the franchise. Forbes magazine recently valued the Seahawks at $2.58 billion. Another interesting element to consider is the age of Nike owner and University of Oregon benefactor, Phil Knight. Its hard to imagine a person who has donated the amount of money Knight has to the UofO would be interested in having to compete for season ticket holders and it is an understatement to say that he weilds a lot of sway over the idea of professional football in Oregon. Knight will turn 81 on February 24th and it is unclear if after he is gone if his influence over football in Oregon will go with him. Potentially opening the door for the next billionaire, or team of wealthy business owners, to open their deep pockets. Many questions will remain before any real talks can start.
Is the Rose City large enough to cater to an NFL team? The Portland metro area is home to just under 2.4 million people, which is double the population of the Buffalo, NY area. Is the NFL interested in expansion or is there a team that may be on the move? The previously mentioned Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans come to mind. The Jaguars are unlikely as their owner seems to be focused on setting up shop in London, so a move to Portland is doubtful. As far as the Titans, though also unlikely, bringing a team led by former University of Oregon standout, Marcus Mariota to Portland, Oregon would most certainly would be welcomed with open arms.