Paul Allen died earlier this week from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 65. The Microsoft co-founder was the majority owner of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and the NBA's Portland Trailblazers. He also was part owner of the Seattle Sounders in the MLS.
Allen's death leaves professional sports in an unusual situation: two teams will be for sale at the same time.
The franchises will likely be sold with proceeds going to Allen's philanthropic efforts. He wasn't married and had no kids. His sister also had minimal involvement with either team.
The chance to enter either the NBA or the NFL is enticing, so expect plenty of billionaires to show interest. A piece of the NFL offers the most popular league in terms of viewership; a spot in the NBA opens up a global market.
After co-founding Microsoft, Allen formed Vulcan in 1986 as his major investment avenue. Primarily focusing on the space and real estate industries, Allen watched his money grow. In 2010, he signed the Giving Pledge to dedicate most of his fortune to philanthropy, like cancer research and wildlife conservation.
Compared to now, Allen scored a great deal when he purchased the teams. He spent around $70 million for the Trailblazers in 1988 and about $174 million for the Seahawks in 1997.
Whoever ends up buying the Seahawks or Trailblazers, they'll be paying a premium for them. The Seahawks are worth $2.1 billion, while the Trailblazers are right around $1 billion.
Still, there's plenty of opportunity in both leagues. Expect to see a mad dash to get a piece of either team.