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Allen on Blazers: Team's future 'up in the air'

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen on Sunday attended his first game at the Rose Garden since announcing that the team was hemorrhaging money and needs a public partnership to remain financially viable.

"Everything is completely up in the air," he said about the team's future.

Allen spoke briefly to reporters outside Portland's locker room during halftime against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft has estimated that the Trail Blazers could lose $100 million over the next three years.

Part of the problem, according to Allen, is that the team no longer sees revenue from the Rose Garden.

The arena was financed by Allen without public money. But the team's sister company, Oregon Arena Corp., declared bankruptcy in 2004 and Allen chose to give up ownership rather than continue to pay interest on construction debt.

As a result, team revenue has declined sharply, along with ticket sales, down by a third from five years ago.

Some have criticized Allen's plea -- first made at the NBA trade deadline -- considering he ranks among the world's richest men.

But Allen insisted repeatedly that the "financial model is broken" when it comes to the team, asking, "You want to let it just sit there and not fix it?"

Allen's financial advisers have been meeting with city and state officials, who have said they have no money to help the team but are willing to work to find a solution.

When asked if he saw himself as owner of the team next season, Allen replied, "Uncertain."

On Sunday, he unassumingly walked on to the court about a minute before the game and spoke to a pair of team executives before taking his seat under the basket closest to the Blazers' bench.

A spokesman for Allen's privately held investment company, Vulcan Capital, estimated Allen has spent $600 million on the team and the arena since 1988 but has yet to see a profit.