Portland City Council and Trail Blazers Announce Bridge Agreement as Step Toward Forming Long-Term Public-Private Partnership

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Mayor Wheeler Header with City of Portland Seal

Next week, the Portland City Council will consider a resolution to authorize a short-term lease extension, or “bridge agreement,” between the City and Rip City Management for Moda Center, allowing more time to seek and to structure a long-term public-private partnership that would lead to a renovation of the arena and would commit the Trail Blazers to Portland for years to come. The current lease expires in October of 2025. 

You can view the Moda Bridge Lease Summary here: 

Recognizing the civic, cultural and economic importance of the Portland Trail Blazers to Portland, the City and Rip City Management have collaborated on an agreement that represents a shared commitment to preserving the team's legacy in the Moda Center.

“Extending our partnerships with Rip City Management and the Trail Blazers is a win for Portland,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “This bridge agreement helps us maintain world-class sports and entertainment in our city while we plan for the future. In addition to its significant economic contributions, the Rose Quarter is a major cultural center, gathering place, and key component of our identity and civic pride. I am excited about the possibility of continuing to enhance and grow this tremendous community asset in partnership with the Blazers organization.” 

Rip City Management operates both the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum, homes to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Portland Winterhawks, and countless other significant entertainment, cultural and civic events each year. The Moda Center 

hosts nearly 1.5 million visitors annually, including at Trail Blazers home games, generating more than $600 million in annual regional economic activity and supporting nearly 6,000 jobs. 

“The Trail Blazers are a unifying force, bringing civic pride and identity to the City of Portland and State of Oregon,” said Dewayne Hankins, President of Business Operations for the Portland Trail Blazers and Rip City Management. “This bridge agreement is an important step forward and provides the time and opportunity to pursue a long-term public-private partnership that would keep the Trail Blazers in Portland for years to come — with a renovated Moda Center that would be the centerpiece of a revitalized Rose Quarter.”

As Oregon’s largest gathering place approaches 30 years of age, a new and significant investment in Moda Center and the Rose Quarter would transform this unique community asset. Revenue generated by Moda Center and the Rose Quarter should be reinvested into Moda Center to maintain its competitive position in the NBA and as an entertainment venue for concerts and other events in the Pacific Northwest. 

A major renovation would also revitalize the Rose Quarter and surrounding area into a vibrant, transformational community that would create more jobs, taxes, and gathering spaces for the entire region.

The City and Rip City Management have jointly reached the conclusion that more time is needed to seek and to structure a long-term public-private partnership, and the planned bridge agreement will allow more time in pursuit of a long-term arena lease. 

The resolution to authorize the bridge agreement is expected to go before the City Council for public testimony on Feb. 28. 

The Portland City Council voted to Authorize a non-binding term sheet with Rip City Management LLC and Trail Blazers, Inc. for Rose Quarter Operating and Lease Agreements on Wednesday, February 29, 2024. You can view that Council meeting and learn more about the term sheet here: 37654 | Portland.gov