August 15, 2013

By ANNE M. PETERSON

AP Sports Writer

 

Goodbye, Rose Garden. Hello, Moda Center.

The Portland Trail Blazers announced a 10-year agreement with insurance provider Moda Health on Tuesday to rename the Rose Garden.

Blazers President Chris McGowan said a new logo should be unveiled within about a month, and the team hopes much of the new signage will be up by the season's home opener on Nov. 2 against San Antonio.

At the request of team owner Paul Allen, the new logo will incorporate a rose as a tribute to the fans and the city. Allen originally named the arena the Rose Garden.

''The Rose Garden is not going away. It's going to be a part of our history and heritage,'' McGowan said. ''The Moda Center is going to take us into the future.''

Moda Health, founded in 1955 and based in Portland, offers medical, dental, pharmacy and vision plans to 2 million members in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Formerly known as ODS, the company changed its name in May.

Williams Johnson, president of Moda Health, would not disclose terms of the deal. The partnership also will include other enhancements to the Rose Quarter district.

In April, Allen told reporters he was ''attached' to the Rose Garden, which was opened in 1995. The building is owned by Allen's company, Vulcan Inc.

''I understand people's investments in a particular name. I tried to pick a name, the Rose Garden, that was something like the Boston Garden or Madison Square Garden, there was something in those names that appealed to me as having some permanence,'' he said at the time. ''We'll see what happens.''

Asked what he would tell fans similarly attached to the Rose Garden name, McGowan said: ''Hopefully, they'll understand that this is what organizations do to go to another level.''

Category: Sports

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