SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Is a Seahawks sale coming? Not so fast, explains Brock Huard

May 25, 2022, 11:18 AM | Updated: 2:29 pm
Seahawks...
Ugo Amadi and Seahawks teammates celebrate his interception against the Lions on Jan. 2. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The status of the Seattle Seahawks’ ownership has been in the news this week stemming from a report by Oregon-based sports business reporter John Canzano.

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According to an article posted on JohnCanzano.com, both the Seahawks and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers are to be sold, and there isn’t much “wiggle room” about it. The two franchises are under control of the Paul G. Allen Trust and trustee Jody Allen, the sister of the late Paul Allen, who owned both teams until his death in 2018.

Per the story, a source told Canzano: “The instructions are clear: The sports franchises and everything in the trust must be sold.”

That being said, Canzano also reported that an insider at Vulcan Inc., a private company founded by the Allen siblings, said Jody Allen may have interest in retaining a stake in the Seahawks’ ownership and may be saving the sale of the team for last in hopes of that.

On Wednesday morning during Seattle Sports Station’s Mike Salk Show, former Seahawks quarterback and longtime Seattle sports media member Brock Huard shared his own insider perspective on the state of the Seahawks franchise.

“I do have a pretty good bead on the situation as far as the Seahawks,” Huard said, “because I used to work in real estate development, and I worked for the company that actually developed the north lot of then CenturyLink Field (now Lumen Field, the Seahawks’ home stadium). And just knowing some of the ins and the outs of the contract and all the parties that were involved when Paul Allen developed that stadium, I’ve gotten on pretty good account from people pretty close to the situation.”

According to Huard, because the City of Seattle paid “hundreds of millions of dollars” to help build Lumen Field, a contract with the Seahawks includes a stipulation that would be a big hurdle to any sale until the middle of this decade, and selling the team before then is not something the trust would do due to a fiduciary responsibility.

“There was basically a poison pill enacted into the deal that said, ‘You can’t go and turn around and sell the (team)’ … until – and I’m pretty confident that it’s 2025, 2026. We’re still some years away from the trust being able to do that,” Huard said. “Otherwise, (with) that poison pill, (the Seahawks) would have had to donate hundreds of millions of dollars back to the city, and that just was not going to happen. So I don’t think a sale is imminent. I don’t think it’s within the next year or two years. It may be within four years.”

While the Blazers could be sold in a relatively quick manner, Huard believes the Seahawks are a different case altogether even though the ownership is the same.

“I don’t think any Seahawks fan needs to be worried that that trust needs to sell today,” he said. “We’re talking years and years from now because of that agreement they made with the City of Seattle when they built the stadium. … I understand where Canzano’s coming from because the Blazers are a mess. The Trail Blazers unfortunately have been a mess; there’s a lot of dysfunction that’s going on there. That’s not the case, obviously, with the Seahawks.”

An additional part of Canzano’s report relevant to Seattle sports fans says that it’s unlikely that a sale of the Trail Blazers could lead to a relocation to Seattle, but it’s actually because of good news for a potential Sonics return in the NBA. Per Canzano, the league has “unofficially earmarked” Seattle and Las Vegas for expansion, something that could come as soon as 2024 after the NBA’s current television deal expires.

Back to the Seahawks, Huard went on to provide his perspective on Jody Allen’s role with the team, and it’s worth noting that both head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have said this offseason that she’s been very involved with Seattle’s operations in recent years.

“Jody Allen, from everything I have heard – and this is from people inside the organization – is loving the opportunity, is relishing the chance to right now run the Seahawks as an owner. She’s been very, very active as we have seen her from the war room (during the NFL Draft) to the end of season meetings,” he said. “So yeah, I think that those are two different entities, and I would be careful looping the Seahawks and the Trail Blazers in the same bucket.”

You can listen to Huard’s full conversation with guest hosts Mike Lefko and Michael Bumpus in the final segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Is a Seahawks sale coming? Not so fast, explains Brock Huard