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John Cunningham Appointed GM For Qwest Arena

PORTLAND, Ore. (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — John Cunningham, president of PGE Park, the Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers, has accepted a position as president of Block22, LLC, a company that owns and operates the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads and Qwest Arena, a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue in Boise, Idaho, it was announced today.

Under Cunningham, who assumed his duties with PGE Park and its teams in February 2005, the Beavers and Timbers realized unprecedented growth, including a substantial increase in ticket sales, attendance, corporate partnerships and the number of large-scale events held at the historic stadium located in downtown Portland.

"Simply put, John did a terrific job in his time with us," said Abe Alizadeh, majority investor with Portland Baseball Investment Group, parent company of the Beavers and Timbers. "He was an integral part of the growth of the teams and PGE Park. With the aid of a veteran management team, John spearheaded a number of innovative improvements to the operation, and because of his efforts, we are in a position for continued success in the future.

"Speaking on behalf of the entire organization, we certainly wish John the best in his new position."

Cunningham returns to Qwest Arena (formerly Bank of America Centre), where he previously served as the general manager of the 5,000-seat facility, which is the home venue of the Steelheads, the Boise Burn of arenafootball2 and the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League. Prior to joining the Beavers and Timbers, Cunningham also served as the general manager and vice president of business operations for the Steelheads.

"Working in Portland has been the best professional experience of my career, and I will miss the city, our staff and the many relationships I've established," Cunningham said. "I am proud of the progress we made in my two years with the organization and know that the current staff will continue that upward trend.

"When the opportunity presented itself to return to Boise in this capacity, I owed it to my family to consider it and realized that it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

Jack Cain, the former owner of the Portland Rockies and current senior advisor for the Beavers and Timbers, will assume the duties of president for the organization on an interim basis while the company conducts a search for a replacement.

"John did great things with us, and it was a pleasure to work with him," said Cain, who served as the interim general manager of the Beavers during the 2004 season. "While I'm disappointed to see him leave, I'm very happy for him on a personal note." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers