Moda Center
Location 1 Center Court, Portland, Oregon 97227
Broke ground 1993
Opened October 1995
Owner Vulcan Inc.
(Paul Allen)
Operator Anschutz Entertainment Group
Construction cost $262 million
Architect Ellerbe Becket
General Contractor Drake/Turner
Former names Rose Garden (1995-2013)
Tenants Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) (1995–present)
Portland Winterhawks (WHL) (1995–present)
Portland Forest Dragons (Arena Football League (1987-2008)) (1997–1999)
Portland Pythons (World Indoor Soccer League) (1998–1999)
Portland Fire (Women's National Basketball Association) (2000–2002)
Portland LumberJax (National Lacrosse League) (2006–2009)
Capacity Basketball: 20,630
Ice hockey / Lacrosse: 18,280
Center stage: approx. 20,500
End Stage: approx. 15,000
"Theatre of the Clouds": approx. 6,500

The Moda Center, formerly known as the Rose Garden Arena, is the primary indoor sports arena in Portland, Oregon, United States. It is suitable for large indoor events of all sorts, including basketball, ice hockey, rodeos, circuses, conventions, ice shows, concerts, and dramatic productions. The arena has a capacity of 20,630 spectators when configured for basketball; it holds smaller crowds when configured for other events. The arena is equipped with state-of-the-art acoustics and other amenities.

It is owned by Vulcan Inc., a holding company owned by Paul Allen, and is currently managed by Anschutz Entertainment Group. The primary tenant is the Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchise, also owned by Allen. Several other professional sports franchises, and the Portland State University men's basketball team, either currently play home games in the Rose Garden, or have done so in the past. In addition, the Rose Garden is a popular venue for concerts and other artistic productions.

Construction on the Rose Garden began in 1993, and the arena opened on October 12, 1995. The arena cost US$262 million to build; construction was financed with funds obtained by a variety of sources, including the City of Portland, Allen's personal fortune, and $155 million in bonds issued by a consortium of mutual funds and insurance companies. These bonds would become the subject of an acrimonious 2004 bankruptcy in which the Oregon Arena Corporation, the holding company which owned the arena at the time, would forfeit title to the Rose Garden in lieu of repaying the bonds per the payment terms. Allen would later repurchase the arena from the creditors in 2007.

Description[edit | edit source]

The Rose Garden is a multipurpose arena which is suitable for numerous indoor sports, including basketball, ice hockey, arena football, and lacrosse, as well as for hosting other events such as concerts, conventions, and circuses.[1] The arena is located in a sports and entertainment district known as the Rose Quarter, a parcel of land in inner northeast Portland which also includes the Memorial Coliseum arena, as well as several parking structures, restaurants, and other amenities.

Name[edit | edit source]

The official name of the facility is "Rose Garden"; though the arena is commonly known as the "Rose Garden Arena" to disambiguate it from the International Rose Test Garden, also located in Portland. The name was chosen both to reflect Portland's reputation as the Rose City[2], and to reflect the importance to basketball heritage of Boston Garden and Madison Square Garden arenas in Boston and New York City, respectively. When the name was selected, the remainder of the former Coliseum grounds were given the name "Rose Quarter".

On December 12, 2007, the Trail Blazers and Vulcan announced that they were seeking a corporate partner to grant naming rights for the facility, with the goal of a new name being available for the Blazers' 2008–09 season.[3] Until then, the Rose Garden remains one of only a handful of NBA facilities for which naming rights have not been sold.[4] Currently, corporate sponsorship is offered on four "media totems" at each of the facility's main entrances.[2]

Structure and architecture[edit | edit source]

The Rose Garden is a precast concrete-framed structure with a roof made up of skeletal steel. The arena structure encloses a total of over 785,000 sq. ft., on eight levels, five of which are open to the public. The building is 140 ft. from the event floor to the pinnacle of the saddle-shaped roof.[1] The arena includes a 60 X 40 ft. permanent stage, and a 200 X 85 ft. ice rink.[5]

Seating[edit | edit source]

Inside of Rose Garden Arena, circa 2001

The arena has a total of over 14,000 permanent seats arranged in two bowls. An additional 1540 permanent seats are found in the arena's 70 skyboxes. Over 4200 portable seats may or may not be installed, depending on the arena's configuration.[5] When configured for basketball, the arena has a capacity of 19,980, and can accommodate a total of up to 20,580 patrons with standing room only. Prior to the 1998 NBA season the capacity was reduced to 19,980 from the original 21,400 spectators.[6] When configured for hockey or lacrosse, capacity decreases to 17,544. The arena supports numerous other configurations for events such as concerts, monster trucks, and circuses.[1] The seating below the skyboxes, known as the lower bowl, is further divided into the 100 and 200 levels. The upper bowl seats, above the skyboxes, are the 300 level.[1]


Tenants and events[edit | edit source]

It is the home to the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, a Canadian junior hockey league. Both the Trail Blazers and Winterhawks previously played in the Memorial Coliseum and moved to the Rose Garden when it was completed in 1995. However, the Rose Garden and the Memorial Coliseum split Winterhawks home games during the season. The Rose Garden and Winterhawks hold the Western Hockey League's record for single game attendance with a crowd of 19,103 on March 15, 1997 in which Portland tied the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, 6–6. The arena was also built to accommodate a NHL franchise and there has been speculation over the years about Portland landing an NHL team; however this has not occurred.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Rose Quarter Venue Facts. Rose Quarter. Retrieved on 2007-10-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jon Morgan. "Naming stadium for Unitas costly, not unprecedented", Baltimore Sun, 2002-09-17. Retrieved on 2007-10-29. 
  3. Naming rights for Rose Garden for sale. Portland Business Journal (December 12, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-12-13.
  4. Sports Facility Reports (National Basketball Association). Sports Facility Reports. Marquette University Law School National Sports Law Institute. Retrieved on 2007-10-29.
  5. 5.0 5.1 John Stainback (2000). Public/Private Finance and Development: Methodology, Deal Structuring, and Developer Solicitation. Wiley and sons, 123. ISBN 0471333670. 
  6. The Rose Garden years. The Oregonian, October 27, 2002.

External links[edit | edit source]

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