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The following is an announcement from the Portland Trail Blazers:

While the Portland Trail Blazers are battling toward an NBA Playoff berth on the court, the business side of the organization is setting its sights on major venue improvements off the court. Trail Blazers and Moda Center President & CEO Chris McGowan has announced the first phases of nearly $16 million in upgrades and new concepts for the Moda Center and Rose Quarter; combined with more development of the team training facilities in Tualatin. When completed, the multi-year makeovers will represent the most sweeping changes in the Rose Quarter since it first opened in 1995; and the largest single investment by Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen in capital improvements for the entire organization.

“What we have in mind for the Moda Center and the Rose Quarter is in direct response to what fans and sponsors have said they’d like to see in a multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue,” said McGowan. “Our owner Paul Allen has always been supportive of investment in our venues and team facilities. During the upcoming offseason, there will be extensive construction around the Moda Center that will raise the level of what guests can experience on almost any night at the Rose Quarter.”

“The initial multi-million dollar upgrades at the team training facility unveiled by General Manager Neil Olshey at the start of this season were the beginning of multiple levels of capital improvements,” said Chris Oxley, General Manager of Rose Quarter Operations and the executive overseeing construction projects. “We’re now expanding the renovations to include Rose Quarter areas that we believe guests and sponsors will be excited to experience. There are also even more improvements coming to the team training facility in 2015 that will place it among the best in the NBA.”

Phase One of the Rose Quarter capital improvements will target refurbishment of 1,800 Club Level Seats inside the Moda Center and the complete renovation of 20 of the arena’s 66 private suites. It will take about two years to eventually renovate all Moda Center suites, according to Anthony Jones-DeBerry, Trail Blazers Vice President of Premium Seating. Also among the changes planned for the Suite Level is the construction of never-before-available “Studio Suites,” as they will be marketed to potential purchasers.

“Our new approach to Premium Seating will be transformational, but will take time to fully complete,” said Jones-DeBerry. “Along with direct feedback from guests, we’ve also factored in research conducted at other entertainment venues around the country. Our goal is to blend totally new concepts with complete renovations and strategic upgrades to the Moda Center.”

“The Studio Suites will offer a unique, more intimate approach to private suite viewing, with seating for four guests and smaller, white linen-covered dining tables,” he added. “We will build twelve Studio Suites, and offer food and beverage packages customized for guest capacities that are smaller than our full-size suites.”

Two longtime offerings on the Club Level will also change beginning with the 2014-15 season. The all-inclusive Chef’s Table that Club Level ticketholders have accessed for many years will be replaced with a multi-option ticket, which includes a $30 credit that guests can use for their preferred method of accessing food, beverages and merchandise in the Moda Center. The prestigious Rose Room will also be upgraded into a private membership-based club catering to guests desiring more business-friendly atmosphere and amenities for a unique dining experience before, during and after games.

“Our arena has lacked a true offering for business-to-business networking and client conversation. The new Rose Room will satisfy that demand with a food and beverage experience only accessible through private membership,” said Jones-DeBerry. “For the Club Level, feedback from guests revealed a desire for something different and more flexible than an all-you-can-eat option. We will offer a Club Level ticket that can be designed specifically around how individual guests want to enjoy a Trail Blazers game. It will include access to the new gourmet concessions and popular restaurant brands now operating in the Moda Center; and the ability to purchase merchandise.”

Guests seated in the lofty 300 Level of the Moda Center are in for a special treat with the building of a new glass-enclosed bar featuring panoramic views of downtown Portland. The space will be a free-flowing design, which opens toward the 300 Level Concourse for easy access. The addition of the bar truly spreads the arena’s upgrades throughout the building, offering something new for every fan.

The list of other Rose Quarter capital improvements also includes:

· Retail kiosks placed on the arena’s upper levels for better access to merchandise;

· A plush new suite holders’ lounge adjacent to the private suites;

· New, environmentally-friendly landscaping around the Rose Quarter;

· Upgrades to Moda Center Wi-Fi access plus installation of a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) for wireless phones;

· Specialty LED lighting encircling the top of the Moda Center and capable of changing colors in connection with Rose Quarter events;

· Complete redesign of the Trail Blazers basketball court as voted on by fans; and

· Refurbishment of the signature fountain on the south end of the Rose Quarter Commons.

Prior to announcing the capital improvements, the Trail Blazers front office invested in consumer research, analytics and direct conversations with ticketholders that provided useful intelligence for planning purposes. Many recent moves, like the addition of popular Portland restaurant icons to the Moda Center’s main level concourse, are linked to feedback from Trail Blazers fans. The just-opened Dr. Jack’s restaurant in the Rose Quarter is a further step in the plan to energize the entire complex.

“This process has evolved at a very strategic pace, with specific outcomes driven by our fans,” McGowan said. “We began the research more than a year ago to get some early guidance to help shape our thinking. By the time this is finished, we anticipate having an exciting sports and entertainment venue where fans feel they’ve contributed to its development.”

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the Portland Trail Blazers:

Almost nothing seems to be coming easy for the Trail Blazers these days, not even a win over the worst team in the NBA.

A win did come over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, but it took a clutch shot by Damian Lillard just to get the game to overtime, where Wesley Matthews’ heroics helped the Blazers finally put the Bucks away for a 120-115 victory before 19,572 at the Moda Center.

“We understand that we were very fortunate to win the game tonight,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.

The Blazers (44-24) had struggled to close out tight games against elite teams recently, and that issue surfaced again against the Bucks (13-55), who have the worst record in the NBA and had only beaten two Western Conference teams all season.

You know, food and health are pretty important. Here’s the Oregonian with an update on Portland Trail Blazers home game offerings:

The Trail Blazers have added another option to the food makeover of the Moda Center.

The organization has added a “healthy food” spot named Plum Tasty that will feature “nutrient-rich, minimally processed menu items.” Plum Tasty will debut Tuesday night, when the Blazers host the Milwaukee Bucks, and will be located outside entry A9 on the Moda Center’s 100-level concourse.

A variety of “grab-and-go” options will be available at Plum Tasty, including a selection of gluten-free and dairy-free items. Every food option will meet a host of the following nutritional guidelines: minimally processed whole food ingredients rich in nutrients; less than 35% calories from fat, with a focus on healthy fats; less than 600 mg of sodium; limited refined carbohydrates.

The Portland Trail Blazers have assigned rookie guard Allen Crabbe to the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Crabbe, 21, is averaging 2.0 points, 0.2 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 4.9 minutes in 12 games for the Trail Blazers this season. Acquired by Portland in a draft day trade with Cleveland, Crabbe was the 31st overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft out of California.

Crabbe’s assignment to Idaho is the second of the season for the Trail Blazers, who assigned CJ McCollum to the Stampede from Jan. 1-5.

Idaho plays host to Santa Cruz on Wednesday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific). The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network (Comcast channel 725).

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on an upcoming Nuggets opponent:

LaMarcus Aldridge out for Blazers, taking time to heal

The Nuggets will catch a break in facing Portland tonight with the Trail Blazers playing without star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is resting a groin injury.

And they’ll take it.

“I normally like to face a team when they’re at full strength, to get the best out of us and the best out of them,” Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said.

Then he smiled.

“But this is one instance where after that 44 that he gave us, his career high, I don’t mind that he’s out,” Shaw said. “We’ve played him twice, and he’s kind of had his way with us both times, so I hope whatever ailment he has, he gets better, but I’m not mad he’s not going to face us tonight.”

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge, who needed a health check:

lamarcus aldridge

There was a notable absence at the Trail Blazers’ practice facility on Tuesday: LaMarcus Aldridge.

The All-Star power forward skipped the team’s first post All-Star-break practice for a visit with the doctor and an evaluation of his tender groin. It’s unclear what type of medical testing Aldridge was undergoing and what his availability will be moving forward.

Coach Terry Stotts refused to label his status for Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, saying the team would “find out” after his visit with doctors.

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the latest fun show put on by the Portland Trail Blazers, who continue to play like one of the best teams in the league:

Trail Blazers hit 21 three-pointers, destroy Bobcats

The Trail Blazers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 134-104 Thursday night at the Moda Center, improving to 26-7 on the season and moving into the top spot in the Western Conference.

The Blazers, who are rewriting the franchise three-point record book this season, had another blistering night from behind the arc and threatened to establish an NBA record for long-range shooting in the convincing victory over the Bobcats.

The Blazers made 21 three-pointers — tying a franchise record they set earlier this season — as seven different players made at least one three. The starting lineup was particularly hot, making 14 of 16, but no one was cold as the Blazers shot 64 percent (21-33). Wesley Matthews went 5 for 6, Mo Williams went 3 for 5 and Damian Lillard went 6 for 6, becoming the second player in franchise history to make at least six threes without a miss. Terry Porter also accomplished the feat in 1992.

The 21 threes equaled the franchise record set Dec. 14 during a win at Philadelphia and the Blazers became the first team in NBA history to make 20 or more threes twice in the same season.

The Boston Celtics’ Jordan Crawford and the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 8.

Crawford led the Celtics to the East’s lone perfect mark on the week at 3-0, behind averages of 23.3 points (fourth in the conference) on .610 shooting from the field (sixth in the conference), 6.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds. Crawford connected on 12-of-23 three-point field goals on the week, including a career-high six makes from distance on Dec. 8, during a 114-73 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Aldridge led the Trail Blazers to a 3-1 week, including wins over the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder. He posted a point-rebound double-double in each of Portland’s four games, and averaged 26.3 points (third in the conference), 12.8 rebounds (fifth in the conference), 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals. On Dec. 4, Aldridge collected 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists during a 111-104 win over the Thunder.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and Brandon Jennings, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Indiana’s Paul George and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant.

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut and Portland Trail Blazers guard Mo Williams have each been suspended one game without pay for fighting after Bogut initiated an incident by elbowing Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland in the jaw.

In addition, for escalating the incident, Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been fined $45,000, and Portland guard Wesley Matthews and Golden State forward Draymond Green have been fined $20,000 each.

The incident occurred with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 113-101 win over the Warriors on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Oracle Arena.

The penalties were announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Williams will serve his suspension tonight when the Trail Blazers host the New York Knicks. Bogut will serve his suspension on Tuesday, Nov. 26, when the Warriors visit the New Orleans Pelicans.

To view the play, click on this link.

The Portland Trail Blazers have placed guards Dee Bost and E.J. Singer and forward Richard Howell on waivers, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Bost appeared in four preseason games averaging 3.5 points and 1.8 rebounds, while Singler averaged 1.0 point and 1.0 assist in two appearances and Howell averaged 1.0 rebound and 1.0 assist in one appearance.

Portland’s roster now stands at 15.

Portland guard CJ McCollum successfully underwent a non-operative ultrasound procedure today to repair the fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot. The procedure, which is designed to promote bone growth, was performed at the OrthoCarolina Foot and Ankle Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina by Dr. Robert Anderson.

McCollum will remain sidelined indefinitely and will be reevaluated in six weeks.

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum will undergo a non-operative ultrasound procedure on Wednesday to repair the fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot.

The procedure, which is designed to stimulate bone growth, will be performed at the OrthoCarolina Foot and Ankle Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina by Dr. Robert Anderson.

Mo Williams looking to do big things for Trail Blazers

On the eve of the Trail Blazers’ training camp, Mo Williams issued an unusual and confident pledge to the rest of the NBA:

“My slogan for the year is, I’m going to be a problem,” he said.

And for the first time in a Blazers uniform, he offered a glimpse of what that looks like.

On a night in which the defense continued to look like a work in progress, when the offense sputtered to another sluggish start, when the Blazers lost for the second time this exhibition season — 104-98 to the Phoenix Suns — there was one encouraging development Wednesday night at the Moda Center.

Williams finally played. And, after shaking off a little rust, he looked dynamic, electric and every bit capable of being a difference-maker.

Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Several key Blazers are banged up

Several key Blazers are banged up

The Trail Blazers were back at practice Tuesday after making their preseason debut Monday in an 89-81 loss to the Clippers. That meant a little more court time for two of their key players, LaMarcus Aldridge and Mo Williams.

The veterans, who both sat out Monday’s game nursing injuries, went through Tuesday’s workout. Neither was sure if he would play in the team’s second exhibition game, against Phoenix at the Moda Center on Wednesday.

Aldridge continues to come back from a strained left quadriceps he suffered last Wednesday while running a sprint.

“I felt good,” Aldridge said. “We didn’t do a whole lot, but I felt good going up and down, a little sore, but that’s a given.”

Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian

trail blazers

Portland Trail Blazers rookie CJ McCollum broke his foot during practice Saturday and is out indefinitely

Terry Stotts initially told the media following practice Saturday that McCollum had sprained his foot and left practice early.

However, the Trail Blazers public relations department later announced via twitter around 4:30 this afternoon that McCollum sustained a fracture of the 5th metatarsal bone. The Trail Blazers announce that a date has not been announced for surgery.

Reported by Erik Gundersen of the Columbian

McCollum is figuring out life in the NBA, and in some ways, training camp will be a way for the Blazers to figure out McCollum, whom they acquired with the No. 10 pick of June’s draft. McCollum played well enough in summer league – averaging averaged 21.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists – that it seemed he might have a significant role in the Blazers’ rotation this season.

That might have changed Aug. 8, when the Blazers made a late acquisition, signing free agent point guard Mo Williams, a former All-Star who started for Utah last season.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts said Williams will be a key part of his “core” group, which will include starters Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez.

“Core guys aren’t going to change,” Stotts said.

Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have exercised their third-year options on Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard and Thomas Robinson, General Manager Neil Olshey announced today.

Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, averaged 19.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists in his rookie campaign with the Trail Blazers. Only the fourth unanimous Kia NBA Rookie of the Year in league history and fourth Trail Blazer to win the award, Lillard finished last season as one of three rookies in NBA history with 1,500 points and 500 assists.

Leonard, the team’s 11th overall pick in last year’s draft, posted averages of 5.5 points and 3.7 rebounds on 54.5 percent shooting from the floor and 80.9 percent from the charity stripe in his first season with the Trail Blazers.

Robinson, entering his second season in the league, joined the Trail Blazers in a trade with the Houston Rockets on July 10, 2013 in exchange for the NBA rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Marko Todorovic along with two future second round picks. In his rookie season, Robinson averaged 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 15.1 minutes in 70 games with Sacramento (51 games) and Houston (19 games).

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie forward Richard Howell, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. We assume that this is a non-guaranteed contract that merely brings Howell to Blazers training camp and gives him a chance to prove himself worthy of a regular season contract.

Howell, 22, averaged 12.7 points (51.8% FG, 63.3% FT), 10.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 31.6 minutes his senior 2012-13 season at North Carolina State. A First Team All-ACC selection last season, Howell ranks fifth all-time in school history with 1,055 rebounds.

He appeared in three games for the Denver Nuggets 2013 NBA Summer League entry in Las Vegas, averaging 1.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.30 blocked shots and 10.7 minutes.

With the addition of Howell (6-8, 257), the Trail Blazers roster stands at 19 players.

The Idaho Stampede will hold exclusive player tryouts in advance of the team’s 2013-14 season, the 16th season in the team’s history.

The organization, under direction from the Portland Trail Blazers, the team’s single NBA affiliate, will host the tryouts in Boise on Sept. 21, 2013 at the Ada County Boys and Girls Club (610 E. 42nd Street, Boise, ID 83714) and in Portland on Sept. 28, 2013 at the Trail Blazers Practice Facility (7325 SW Childs Rd., Portland, OR 97224). Both tryouts will start with registration at 9 a.m. and end no later than 12 p.m.

These exclusive tryouts will offer players the opportunity to show their abilities in front of Stampede coaching and scouting staff, along with Trail Blazers personnel, with the chance of an invite to Stampede training camp.

Reported by the Oregonian

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are changing radio stations for the third time in three years.

The Blazers will air all preseason and regular season games on Fox Sports Radio AM 620 during the 2013-14 season, the team announced today.

The Blazers had been on AM 1190 KEX since last August. Both AM 1190 and AM 620 are owned by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

“We are excited about the opportunity to broadcast our games on a station the offers an all-sports format,” said Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan. “This transition also allows us to avoid any preemption throughout the course of the season.”

 Reported by Micah Rice of the Columbian 

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