How can Paul Allen own the Seahawks and Blazers?

I just spotted this when Microsoft was the featured link for Wikipedia, and I clicked on Paul Allen’s link, the dact that he owns bothe the NFL Seattle Seahawks and the NBA Portland TrailBlazers. I thought the NFL prohibited owners from owning teams in other sports as well, IIRC, Wayne Huizenga had to give up his stake in the Dolphins in order to become owner of the Marlins and/or Panthers. Does that only apply to teams that share a media market with an NFL team? If not, did the NFL waive this for Allen? If so, why would they make him an exception?

(Wikipedia entries on Allen and on the two teams failed to yield an answer.)

Looking at some articles on Malcolm Glazer’s purchase of Manchester United, it seems that the NFL cross-ownership rules prohibit NFL owners from having ownership stakes in teams located in NFL markets other than their own. Allen can own the Blazers (no NFL team in Portland) or the Sonics (Seattle’s market) but he couldn’t buy the Pistons, for example.

Huizenga owned the Dolphins and Marlins concurrently, which is why the Marlins play at what was Pro Player Stadium. He sold the Marlins to concentrate on the Dolphins and his businesses.

From here:

Thanks guys, I had a feeling it was probably because Portland isn’t an NFL city.

I’m surprised that Huizenga did own the Dolphins and Marlins (and Panthers) concurrently; I could swear I remember that being a problem for the NFL. Maybe I’m mixing him up with something or someone else.

You’re probably thinking of author Tom Clancy, who tried to buy the Vikings and also held a minority interest in the Baltimore Orioles. He’d have been forced to sell his Orioles stake if he’d bought the Vikes.

Maybe that was it, thanks.

I’ll thought it was MLB that had a rule against owning of different franchise. They either gave Huizenga an exemption or he said “I’ll get to it.” John Henry owned the Marlins and a small stake in the Yankees. That was definitely not allowed, so Henry got rid of his stake.

MLB has rules against one person owning a piece of two MLB teams, but I think all sports leagues have that rule. I don’t think MLB prohibits one owner from owning teams in different sports. For example, in recent years Disney owned the Anaheim Angels and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim simultaneously. Going back 30 years, Charlie Finley owned the Oakland A’s, the ABA’s Memphis Tams, and the NHL California Golden Seals at the same time.

Tedious nitpick: Major League Soccer has 12 teams. Four are owned/operated by one entity, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). Three others are o/o by Hunt Sports Group (HSG), led by Lamar Hunt, owner of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

Continuing the nitpick: MLS is different from the other leagues in that it’s a single-entity league. All the owner/operators participate equally (on a per-team basis) in the league’s finances; all TV and stadium revenue is shared, all players actually sign contracts with the league and not individual teams (which is the real issue separating MLS from other American sports leagues). Hence the term “owner/operator”–a team is run by one person, the general manager, but 4 of the GMs report to AEG and 3 others report to HSG.