Why the sale of Seahawks before May 2024 is unlikely

As rumors have spread in recent months that Seattle Seahawks could be put up for sale, sources close to the situation have categorically stated that the team is not currently on the market.

Coach Pete Carroll appears to have confirmed this publicly earlier this month when asked if team chairman Jody Allen has given him clues that the team could sell.

“He never had that idea,” Carroll said. “I haven’t heard him say that at all.”

But if that ever changes, here’s a date to watch – May 2, 2024.

This is the day when the Seahawks should no longer give up 10% of the team’s gross sales price to the state of Washington.

This provision is contained in a referendum 48 adopted in 1997 to finance the construction of Lumen Field.

The paragraph specifically states that if Paul Allen or his estate becomes a minority owner at any time before the 25th anniversary of the sale of the first bonds, the Public Stadium Authority will receive 10% interest on the gross sale price. team.

The clause is public, but has rarely been discussed. A recent story in the Sports Business Journal highlighted its existence.

A spokesman for the public stadium agency told The Seattle Times that the date of the first sale of the bonds was May 1, 1999, meaning that any sale before May 2, 2024 would result in 10% of the team’s gross sale price. state.

The Denver Broncos has a pending deal to sell for $ 4.65 billion, the first team to be sold since 2018. Assuming Seahawks has the same value when selling, Forbes magazine had a Denver 10 last year.th in its annual NFL Franchise Value Rankings with Seattle 12th – This would mean a transfer of $ 465 million or more to the state if sold before 2 May 2024.

The money would go to renovating the 20-year-old stadium. Before the bonds were paid out last year, they would have gone to Washington state public schools.

As there is apparently no current interest in selling the team – and certainly no urgency – this clause seems to rule out any idea of ​​selling the team before that date.

Paul Allen bought an option to buy the crew in April 1996, but the sale depended on a contract for significant public funding for the construction of the stadium, which eventually led to a referendum 48.

The referendum, which resulted in a $ 300 million public share of the $ 430 million stadium price tag, passed in June 1997. The purchase of Allen for the team was completed in September 1997 for $ 194 million. The stadium was opened in the summer of 2002.

Allen bought the Seahawks from Ken Behring, who tried to take the Seahawks to Los Angeles in 1996, shortly after the Marines had barely avoided leaving the city. The 10% clause seemed to prevent Allen from selling, or at least the state, from receiving something from the express sale.

Scott Jedlicka, an associate professor of sports management at Washington State University, said the referendum, “which included not only a 10% rebate but also required the team to fund construction, cover cost overruns and support youth sports development, was quite ambitious in terms of concessions the country was able to make.

The referendum was approved by the legislature on April 25, 1997, and was then sent to voters in June just before Allen’s ability to buy the team expired on July 1, 1997. According to a story published in The Seattle Times in July 1997, Allen’s million to support the referendum. The measure was voted 51.15% against 48.85%.

Jedlicka said that while this provision could discourage sales, “it could also be used to raise questionable prices, as potential buyers know that part of the cost will be reinvested in capital improvements. And as NFL franchise values ​​have soared and continue to rise over the past decade, the potential buyer may see the value of paying the surcharge if part of this money reimburses future maintenance costs.

The last $ 300 million bond sold was issued on January 1, 2021.

Paul Allen died of a complication of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October 2018 and the team was referred to the Paul G. Allen Trust. Allen’s sister, Jody, became a trustee and became chairman of Seahawks in that role.

The NBA Portland Trail Blazers are also trusted and Jody Allen is the chairman of the team.

According to several reports released on June 2, a group of owners led by Nike rounder Phil Knight recently made a written bid for $ 2 billion. But later that day, Blazers issued a statement acknowledging that an offer had been made but stating that “the team will remain for sale.”

News of Blazers ‘bid offered rumors of Seahawks’ future. However, sources have continued to claim that the team will not be sold.

Talking about Seahawk’s future has also been prompted by a report published last month by Portland writer and radio presenter John Canzano that Allen’s assets must be liquidated and the proceeds going to his “passionate projects”. However, it is not clear whether there is a specific date by which this must happen.

Jody Allen has not given any interviews since taking office as chairman of the team in the fall of 2018, which has given his team’s future plans a bit of a mystery.

But Allen has been more visible in recent months, publishing a strong statement in support of Russell Wilson’s decision to replace him and then participating in an NFL draft at the end of April, pictured in the team’s published pictures and video.

And if he and the trust don’t want to give up 10% of what they can get from selling the team, he’ll stay in charge for at least another two years.

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