Blazers pick up tab for new Moda Center signs


SIGN OF RELIEF: Taxpayers won’t foot the bill for new Moda Center traffic signs.

By Shelby Sebens | Northwest Watchdog

Drivers who head toward Portland’s Rose Quarter District on the east side of the Willamette River will see new signs directing them to the city’s arena.

The signs, which once directed traffic to the Rose Garden, now say Moda Center. But who paid for them?

The NBA’s Trail Blazers and Rip City Management assured Northwest Watchdog they will pay for the signs. Michael Lewellen, vice president of communications and public engagement for the Blazers, said the NBA team is awaiting a final invoice from the city.

The Blazers renamed the sports arena in August after partnering with Moda Health, a health-care provider based in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The name change from a unique title that represented the city’s official nickname, “The City of Roses” to a health insurance provider received less than favorable responses from fans.

Diane Dulken, spokeswoman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, told Northwest Watchdog the city originally estimated the 11 traffic signs would cost $3,000. Thanks to some bolts that needed welding and some changes from the Blazers, the new price tag is $10,000.

Dulken said the city is working with the Blazers and has sent the invoice.

Contact Shelby Sebens at

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