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It's the Moda Center, not the Rose Garden

Blazers sign 10-year naming rights deal with insurance provider


by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Portland's Rose Garden will be renamed the Moda Center under a new naming rights agreement with an Oregon health insurance company.The Rose Garden is now the Moda Center.

Chris McGowan, the Blazers' president/chief executive officer, made the announcement Tuesday morning at the arena.

Moda Health is a health and dental care insurance provider in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The company has agreed to a 10-year naming rights deal, McGowan said.

The building's new logo will be unveiled in about four weeks, McGowan added, with decisions on other signage also to be made.

"I think it's the perfect name for an arena," McGowan said, adding that he likes short names. "We felt it flowed. It rolls off the tongue well."

McGowan was hired on Oct. 29 to replace Larry Miller after spending the previous year as chief operating officer with Anschutz Entertainment Group, which oversees the Los Angeles Kings, MLS Galaxy and several other sports properties.

During the Blazers' 2012-13 season, McGowan said his goal was to have naming rights in place before 2013-14.

“If we can get a naming rights deal done and maintain relationship with our current partners,” he said, “we’re going to be sitting exactly where we need to be on the sponsorship side.”

McGowan hired a company called “Premier Partnership” to facilitate the process. They began a list of about 100 businesses that grew to 250, according to McGowan — some local, some national — with a likelihood of interest in seeking naming rights to the arena.

“It could be a local company, which would be great," McGowan said at the time, "or it could be a (national) blue-chip brand.”

Last month, in an interview with the Tribune, McGowan promised changes to the Rose Quarter, a ghost town on non-game nights and a disappointing entity since the Rose Garden opened in 1995.

"The Rose Quarter needs to be livened up," he said. "I want it to come alive on game night. If we can do that first, that allows us the opportunity to think bigger about the Rose Quarter (year-round). We haven't firmed up exactly what we're going to do, but our fans will notice when they come to games this season that it will be a bit livelier."