Convention Center Hotel Lawsuits Could Block Portland Trail Blazers' Bid to Host NBA All-Star Game, Metro Warns

"We are in danger of missing that window" for 2018 game, says Metro President Tom Hughes

The Portland Trail Blazers want to host the NBA All-Star Game in 2017 or 2018. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told the media Feb. 14 that Portland's bid hinges on the city gaining more hotel rooms.

That could be a problem.

As WW reported in this morning's Murmurs, Silver's statement implies the Blazers need the proposed $212 million, 600-room Hyatt hotel next to the Oregon Convention Center. The 16-month construction job would need to be finished by no later than February 2018.

Two lawsuits by the project's opponents, led by downtown hotelier Gordon Sondland, are holding things up. Both cases—which seek to halt public funding of the hotel—are pending in the Oregon Court of Appeals. 

Silver's condition—awarding Portland the All-Star Game only if the city builds a new Convention Center hotel—gives Metro and the Blazers a valuable bargaining chip in trying to negotiate with Sondland to drop his lawsuits.

Metro President Tom Hughes says the clock is running out on landing the all-star game.

"We are working really hard to meet the 2018 deadline," Hughes tells WW. "However, we are in danger of missing that window of opportunity. Every day the opponents delay the project makes it harder to meet the NBA's deadline."

Opponents of the Convention Center hotel project have not yet responded to WW's request for comment.

WWeek 2015

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