Trail Blazers Go Into 2016-17 Season Loaded with Fresh Fan Experiences, New Broadcast Talent

Riding the momentum of three straight trips to the NBA Playoffs, a talented group of returning starters and exciting player additions, the Portland Trail Blazers are set for the 2016-17 season. Fans can engage with new experiences when enjoying the Trail Blazers live at Moda Center and will have more options than ever to watch games on television.  This year’s edition of the Trail Blazers will open at home on October 25 as the team hosts the Utah Jazz beginning at 7 p.m.                                                           

“With each new season, we look for ways to make our fan experience even better than the previous year,” said Chris McGowan, President and CEO of the Trail Blazers and the Rose Quarter.  “We listen to our fans and incorporate ideas that help us provide one of the most engaging atmospheres in the NBA.  An enjoyable experience in the arena, a winning product on the court and the passion of Trail Blazers fans are what give Rip City its energy.  Whatever ways our fans choose to catch Trail Blazers games – at Moda Center, on television or on radio – there will be plenty of excitement this season.”

All 82 regular season games will be available on television, including 75 games on local channels. The Trail Blazers will air 15 contests on KGW Channel 8 and 60 games on CSN Northwest. Six games this season will be carried nationally on TNT, while one game – January 25 versus the Los Angeles Lakers – can be seen on ESPN.

Access to Trail Blazers televised games has never been more extensive on CSN Northwest thanks to new carriage agreements with Charter Communications, CenturyLink Prism® TV, and most recently SONY Vue, which is accessible on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Roku.  These distributors expanded CSN Northwest’s longstanding carriage on XFINITY, Frontier and Wave.  To learn more about Trail Blazers carriage options, fans can visit trailblazers.com/watch.

Anchoring Trail Blazers television broadcasts will be the new trio of play-by-play voice KevinCalabro, color analyst Lamar Hurd and courtside reporter Brooke Olzendam.  Calabro spent 21 years as a television and radio announcer for the former Seattle SuperSonics until that franchise moved to Oklahoma City in 2008; and remained in the Pacific Northwest as a play-by-play announcer for TNT, TBS, ESPN Radio, NBA TV and Westwood One Radio.  An eight-year broadcasting veteran, Hurd most recently worked for the Pac-12 Network, where he was a college basketball analyst for four years. He has also served as an analyst for ESPN, Fox Sports Northwest, Root Sports and Oregon State University men’s basketball games.  Olzendam, a former All-Purpose host with CSN Northwest from 2014-16, will serve as Courtside Reporter for all home and road Trail Blazers game telecasts. She will also host digital, web and social content, as well as player feature stories throughout the season. 

Wraparound programming for Trail Blazers broadcasts also got an infusion of new talent as Jordan Kent joins former Trail Blazers player Michael Holton for broadcasts on KGW and CSN Northwest. Kent comes to the Trail Blazers as host for the Toyota Pregame Show, McDonald’s Halftime Show and the Postgame Show alongside Holton. He is also now the permanent host of Trail Blazers Courtside. On the radio dial, Brian Wheeler returns for his 19th season calling the play-by-play action on flagship Rip City Radio AM-620 and the 20 stations regionally along the Trail Blazers Radio Network.

For the game night experience, the Trail Blazers have again invested in upgrades and enhancements around Moda Center and the Rose Quarter.  Here is a sampling of upcoming fan experience elements:

  • Innovative LED lighting inside Moda Center for venue visibility that is brighter, sharper and perfect for today’s ultra-high definition Trail Blazers games broadcasts.  LED lighting was also added to the Rose Quarter Commons area for greater outdoor visibility.  The total lighting upgrade replaced 230 mercury-based lighting fixtures with 460 mercury-free LED units; will save the franchise 939,936 kilowatt hours per year; and offset 446 tons of Co2 emissions annually.
  • Commemoration on January 25, 2017 of the 40th anniversary of the Trail Blazers 1977 NBA Championship, including a flashback to that magical season involving former players, broadcasters and team staff.
  • New specialty seating located in Section 101 called the Daimler 3House, where fans can take part in interactive tracking of three-point shots made by the Trail Blazers all game long.  For the third straight year, the Trail Blazers and Daimler Trucks North America will partner with Friends of Trees to plant three new trees in the Sandy River area for every successful three-point basket this season.
  • A new giveaway for fans of a free Sausage McGriddle sandwich offered through the McDonald's mobile app when the Trail Blazers tally 100 points at every game. This offer is made available by participating, locally owned and operated McDonald’s restaurants across Oregon and Southwest Washington.
  • Rip City Clothing Company, the Trail Blazers source for team gear, offering expanded daily hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; newly remodeled, walk-in retail space near Gate C28; and even more unique “Items of the Game” merchandise.
  • Already rated as the top food and beverage experience in the NBA, Levy Restaurants and Moda Center will add more delicious options around Moda Center, with special attention to the fan experience on the 300 Level.  Additions to the building’s upper section include local favorites Sizzle Pie Pizza and Bunk Sandwiches; Crafters Grille featuring gourmet burgers; and handcrafted Nineteen27 S’mores.
  • Several themed nights throughout the home game schedule, including special activations around Sustainability; a salute to Oregon’s Olympians; Military Appreciation Night; select cultural observances; and the organization’s first-ever Pride Night celebrating the LGBTQ community.

Information about Trail Blazers single-game tickets can be found at trailblazers.com/tickets. For season tickets and other ticketing inquiries, please call 844-RIP-CITY.