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In Memoriam: Paul Allen

Paul Allen

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and the owner of the Seattle Seahawks, passed away on Monday at the age of 65. 

Allen made his mark on the Seahawks, not only by overseeing the team’s run to a Super Bowl XLVIII championship but also in keeping the franchise in Seattle. He purchased an option to buy the team in 1996 from Ken Behring, who had threatened to move the franchise and at one point transferred its operations to Anaheim, and paid for a public vote on a public-private partnership to fund the construction of a new stadium. Allen assumed ownership in 1997 and that new facility, which is now known as CenturyLink Field, opened in 2002. More from The Seattle Times:

Mr. Allen was regarded as a fairly hands-off owner of the Seahawks, present for a few games a year and at celebrations for major championships, but generally handled the budget and let the coaches handle the football.

Head coach Pete Carroll tweeted on Monday afternoon that he was “deeply saddened” by Mr. Allen’s passing.

“I’ll miss him greatly,” Carroll wrote in the tweet. “His gracious leadership and tremendous inspiration will never be forgotten.”

At this point, it is uncertain what the long-term plans are regarding the ownership of the Seahawks and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, another sports franchise owned by Allen. Allen was not married and did not have any children, while his sister Jody Allen currently serves as  vice-chair of First & Goal Inc. Thus far, there have been conflicting media reports about whether Paul Allen’s estate will sell both teams, or if Jody Allen wants to retain the Seahawks while selling the Trail Blazers. More from The Seattle Times:

A report from SportsBusinessRadio stated that Jody Allen does not want to own and run the teams, and that Paul Allen’s estate would look to sell the teams.

However, citing an anonymous source, The Oregonian’s John Canzano reported Monday there was a chance Jody Allen might sell the Trail Blazers but retain ownership of the Seahawks because she’s a Seahawks fan, and “nobody who knows her thinks she’d be interested in wanting to run an NBA franchise on a daily basis.”

Allen purchased the Seahawks for $194 million in 1996. According to Forbes, the Seahawks now are worth $2.58 billion.

Yet, another source told the Times on Monday that it was unclear if Jody Allen would want to retain both teams.

Allen originally underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2009, and had recently announced that the cancer had returned. Complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been cited as his cause of death.

Image courtesy Seattle Seahawks. 

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