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Thursday, June 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Paul Allen Buys Seahawks, Cuts Ticket Prices The Reduction Affects Seats In The Area Of The Kingdome Known As The ‘Nosebleed Section’

By Associated Press

Billionaire Paul G. Allen on Monday exercised his option to buy the Seattle Seahawks and cut ticket prices for the cheapest seats to $10, lowest in the National Football League.

The price cut took effect with the signing of two documents, a letter notifying Seahawks owner Ken Behring of Danville, Calif., that Allen would go through with the $200 million deal and a letter of intent between Football Northwest and King County to build a new stadium.

Approval by other NFL voters is expected later this summer, said Bob Whitsitt, president of Football Northwest, the group Allen formed to manage his bid to buy the team.

Whitsitt read Allen’s brief letter to Behring, then added, “and here we go,” flourishing his pen to sustained whoops, cheers and applause from several dozen people at the club’s headquarters in this Seattle suburb.

The price change affects seats which previously went for $33, $28 and $19 in the upper reaches of the third level, known as the Kingdome’s “nosebleed” section. More than three-fourths are around the end zone facing the replay screen, and the rest are between the goal lines.

Other ticket prices are unchanged.

Allen, attending the Wimbledon tennis championships in England, issued a statement thanking everyone who worked for passage of Referendum 48, a plan to replace the Kingdome with a $425 million open-air football stadium and exhibition hall. The measure was approved by Washington state voters by a 51-49 margin in an election June 17.

Demolition of the Kingdome is scheduled to begin in January 2000 and completion of the new stadium is set for July 2002.

“During the campaign, we learned that making professional football more accessible and affordable to families was important to fans across the state,” Allen said. “I hope this enables more fans than ever to attend this year’s games.”

Besides Whitsitt, those present for the signing and a barbecue party included Gov. Gary Locke, County Executive Ron Sims and County Council member Peter von Reichbauer, who was instrumental in getting Allen to buy the club.

Attendance sagged badly after Behring attempted to move the franchise to the Los Angeles area early last year. Rebuffed by the league and facing a stiff battle in court, he granted a purchase option to Allen, co-founder of Microsoft Corp. and owner of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team.

Allen made exercising the option contingent on approval of an open-air stadium to replace the Kingdome, a condition satisfied with certification of the election results last week.

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