Paul Allen was major part of sports landscape in Northwest

SEATTLE (AP) – No one had more influence on professional sports in the Pacific Northwest than Paul Allen.

But even though he was the owner of the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA and partial owner of the Major League In the Seattle Sounders of football, Allen used to move away from the focus of attention sought by others in their same position. As the owner, he did not have the same visibility as Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks and was not an omnipresent figure on the sidelines like Jerry Jones of the Cowboys.

Allen would leave the locker room before the cameras arrived, shuffling aisles and a side door to avoid drawing the attention of those he thought deserved it.

Allen, 65, died Monday from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to his company, Vulcan Inc. His death leaves a large gap in the sports landscape in the upper left corner of the United States, and is likely Soon questions will arise about the future of the Seahawks and the Blazers.

He was a revered figure in Seattle for his entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropy, and for keeping the Seahawks moved to Southern California in the mid-1990s. In Oregon, he was the multi-millionaire who bought the Trail Blazers at the age of 35 and turned them into a small-market powerhouse with a pair of appearances in the NBA Finals, while keeping them rooted in Portland.

It was also possibly one of the most successful The launch of the expansion franchise in the history of professional sports with the arrival of the Sounders in 2009.

"He was an insurmountable visionary who changed the world but also changed this the city he loved, "said Tod Leiweke, who was executive director of The Seahawks in the 2000s." He made such a big impact in Seattle as anyone in any city, his legacy here in Seattle will be felt forever. "

Allen's passion was basketball, which led to his purchase of the Blazers in 1988. In a few years, the team was playing in the NBA Finals with Allen sitting regularly at the baseline to see his equipment on the floor.

But it was in the NFL that Allen received the most attention, first to save his local team from the relocation and then as the team developed. in one of the elite franchises in the league. Owner Ken Behring was ready to move to the Seahawks in 1996. Moving trucks had cleaned up the team's facilities and players did offseason workouts in Southern California until the league threatened heavy fines against Behring and the lawsuits They stopped the relocation attempt. Allen then bought an option to buy the franchise and became a full owner once the voters approved the construction of what is now CenturyLink Field.

After Allen became the owner, the Seahawks had 12 playoff appearances, three NFC titles and the only Super Bowl. Victory in the history of the team. The team had reached the playoffs only four times and had reached a single conference title before him. In the midst of success, Allen's most public moments came when he lifted Seattle's "Flag 12" before each of the NFC title games that the team organized.

"His passion for the game, combined with his calm determination, led him to a model organization on and off the field," said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Allen saw the Seahawks reach the Super Bowl for the first time in the 2005 season when they lost to Pittsburgh. Eight years later, he finally lifted the championship trophy after the 43-8 shots of Denver in Seattle to conclude the 2013 season, and that night he performed at the celebration party at the team's hotel.

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