On Monday, Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen passed away at the age of 65 after a battle with non-Hodkin lymphoma. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft, bought the Seahawks in 1996 after then-owner Ken Behring threatened to move the team from Seattle. Under Allen’s ownership, the franchise started to turn into a contender for the first time since the early 1980s: it captured three conference titles and went on to win Super Bowl 48.
Following Allen’s passing, the New England Patriots and owner Robert Kraft – who also bought his team in the mid 1990s amidst relocation rumors – released the following statement:
Paul Allen was a brilliant businessman who was driven by a deep passion for his work and a desire for excellence, which is evident in his myriad of business and philanthropic endeavors. With both the Seahawks and the Sounders, he built a foundation for success that helped inspire two of the greatest fan bases in their respective leagues. While our teams did not play often, I very much enjoyed the time I did share with Paul, for his understated and unassuming nature, kindness and wisdom always impressed me. The NFL and the MLS are better for having Paul Allen involved, and so are countless others who have been touched by his brilliance and his compassion. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Allen family, as well as the entire Seahawks and Sounders organizations, and all who mourn his loss today.
With Allen’s passing, the future of his team now comes into question. The billionaire had no children, which makes it likely that his company Vulcan Sports and Entertainment and the Seahawks’ board of directors headed by executive Bert Kolde and his sister Jody Allen will take on a more prominent role in leading the organization at least for the time being.
However, as Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll pointed out in a statement: now is not yet the time to talk business: “It doesn’t feel like it’s time to be engaging in that conversation. We’re more into the conversation about recognizing what took place and how to respect Paul and his desires and all of that.”