Seattle Seahawks owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died at age 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Oct. 15.
The death of Allen, who was known for his countless philanthropic endeavors, had reverberations throughout not only the tech community but the sports landscape as well. When I scrolled through my Twitter feed during the afternoon and evening hours of Oct. 15, there was a bevy of Twitter posts honoring Allen for his contributions to the world. Allen, who purchased the Seattle Seahawks franchise in 1996 and owned several homes in Mercer Island, saved professional football in Seattle. The Seahawks’ previous owner Ken Behring had planned to move the team to Anaheim, California.
Thankfully, it never happened.
If it wasn’t for Allen, there would be no CenturyLink Field, two Seahawks Super Bowl appearances or a Super Bowl victory in February of 2014. As a Seahawks fan, I will always be eternally grateful for what Allen did for Pacific Northwest football fans. One of my best friends from childhood, Tom Winslow, would literally watch Seahawks games on the radio during the mid-1990s. Instead of watching Denver Broncos games on CBS or San Francisco 49ers games on Fox in the living room with everyone else on the television (those were the games shown most often), he would be fixated on his archaic radio in his room with the sounds of Seahawks games pulsating through the speakers. Throughout the 1990s, the majority of Seahawks home games at the Kingdome would be blacked out on TV locally due to the lack of fans buying tickets to attend home games.
Nearly two decades later, the opposite is true.
Every game is sold out and most tickets available on the secondary market command twice the amount of the face value of the ticket. The Seahawks are one of the most successful and recognized brands in professional sports. None of it would had happened if Allen didn’t bust out his proverbial Superman cape and save the Seahawks 22 years ago. Paul Allen is an absolute legend in the Pacific Northwest. His legacy will truly last a lifetime.