First of all, I haven't posted much this season. I've been really busy, but I have watched every game, and it has been awesome watching this team play. Regardless of your thoughts on the caliber of opponent, it is always good to win on the road. Portland hasn't beaten hardly anyone on the road the past few seasons, so this is a great start.
Anyways, I'd like to share some thoughts on Chris McGowan. He is the President and CEO of the Blazers, and he visited Oregon's sports business club on this past Wednesday. It was really cool to hear him talk about the direction of the franchise from a business perspective, and he's a really nice and approachable person. He talked about the ups and downs of the Moda Center deal, and I appreciate the goals he has around that more than I did. The Blazers and Moda Health plan on utilizing the relationship to create community events around health, and I think this relationship is much more than a name on a building.
McGowan also talked about pricing strategies of tickets. I know many are wondering why the Moda Center doesn't always seem as full as it did, and it isn't by accident. The prior sales approach was to sell as many tickets as possible, and to not keep season ticket holder prices in mind. McGowan is not going to lowball on tickets just to get the sell-out, and has been much more respectful toward season ticket holders in this aspect. For example, a season ticket holder would pay like 65 bucks for a ticket in a specific section, but then people would go to the game for 30 dollars. This frustrated STHs, and I think McGowan is building more long-term value for tickets to the games.
Portland is also transitioning toward a dynamic ticket strategy. This will allow Portland to respond to market changes more appropriately, and is the future for ticket sales. He also addressed the layoffs. It was a tough transition, but the goal was to make the Blazer organization less of a bureacracy, and a much better organizational structure. Larry Miller had developed an uneven and unorganized business culture, and that won't be the case much longer.
Lastly, McGowan noted how great the Portland fanbase is. The passion is great for the organization, and he appreciates how much the details matter to Blazer fans. Even when they are mad about name changes or loss of Chalupas, he still appreciates it. McGowan wants to provide the best product possible to Blazer fans, and he will deliver. He wants the Blazers to be more connected to the Blazer community. He wants to look into bringing an All Star game to Portland once the hotel/convention center is built. Plus, he believes building a relationship with the University of Oregon will be beneficial. When he worked with the Kings and Galaxy, he developed relationships with USC, and he sees potential in doing the same with Oregon. Also, he has a great relationship with Neil Olshey. Though he works on the business side, they still work together, and they understand what their roles are. McGowan saw the LA Galaxy and LA Kings win championships, and he will do his best to facilitate this dream for Portland from the business side.