Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen passed away Monday from non-hodgkins lymphoma. The team did not just loser their owner, they lost their savior.
Outside of Seattle, Paul Allen (January 21, 1953 – October 15, 2018) is best known for co-founding Microsoft, as well as being one of the richest men in the world. The self-made billionaire is also known for his philanthropy – sharing his wealth in hopes to make strides in areas such as education, wildlife, medicine and space travel. However in Seattle, Allen is best known for saving their Seattle Seahawks.
In 1996, the Seahawks, a franchise only 20 years old at the time, was set to leave Seattle for southern California. Then-team owner Ken Behring had decided Seattle and the collapsing Kingdome was not a suitable location for his football team. As a result, the city would lose their beloved Seahawks.
But a miracle happened. Seattle native Paul Allen stepped in and played the role of savior to the Seattle Seahawks. He purchased the team under the conditions that the people of Seattle would vote in favor of funding a new stadium. The people listened and the construction of a new stadium was underway.
In 2002, Seahawks Stadium (now CenturyLink Field) was opened and the team had a permanent home in Seattle. The stadium was designed after Husky Stadium, a stadium that amplified crowd noise. We know all about the noise in Seattle, and we can thank Paul Allen for that.
It was only a few years later when Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks won their first ever NFC Championship in that very stadium. And finally in 2013, the team brought their first ever Super Bowl win home to Seattle.
Under Allen’s leadership, the Seahawks transformed from an embarrassingly bad football team to world champions. None of it was possible without Allen’s bravery.
Seahawks players throughout the years have had nothing but fantastic things to say about the owner of the team they play for. Russell Wilson penned this message regarding the passing of Allen yesterday:
Allen purchased the Portland Trail Blazers in 1988 and also funded a new stadium for the team. Keeping sports in the Pacific Northwest was very important to Allen. The Blazers have reached the playoffs 19 times since Allen purchased the team.
Paul Allen’s life was a perfect example of how one should live. He used his gifts to innovate technology forever and used his wealth to help others forever. There is nothing he would not do for his city or his football team. Allen has affected many of our lives for the better. Whether you love his teams, use his Microsoft technology or benefit from his contributions to science, Allen was a pioneer and visionary that will not be soon forgotten.