Owner Allen pulls out of negotiations to sell Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Arena Management, which runs the Rose Garden Arena, announced Thursday that Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen has pulled out of negotiations to sell the team.

Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, and the arena management group had been working together to sell the team and the Rose Garden as a package.

"As a result of the process, multiple bids were received, a number of which were in a range which PAM found acceptable, and PAM confirmed that it wanted the sale process to continue to pursue negotiations with certain of the bidders," the group said. "However, Mr. Allen has advised PAM that he does not wish to pursue a sale of the team at this time, and the sale process has been terminated."

Calls to a spokesman for Allen's company, Vulcan Inc., were not immediately returned.

Allen said the team was in financial straits as the Blazers were wrapping up one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Portland finished with the league's worst record, 21-61.

In the offseason, he agreed with the arena management group to bundle the Blazers and the Rose Garden to attract a buyer.

Bids for Oregon's only major-league franchise were due last week. It was not known who made offers.

Several groups made public their intentions to bid, including an effort led by former Blazer Terry Porter and another by Mark Wattles, who founded Hollywood Video.

Prices for the past five NBA teams sold have fallen in the range of $300 million to $400 million. The owners of the Seattle SuperSonics recently announced a deal to sell the team to an Oklahoma City group for $350 million.