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SBD/Issue 141/Facilities & Venues
Sonics’ Future In Doubt Without Legislature Voting On Arena
Published April 17, 2007
|Bennett Says “Little Hope” That Sonics Will Stay
In Seattle Region After Legislature’s Decision
DOUBLE TALK: Several Legislature members, including Kessler, indicated that while there “may not be support for a basketball arena, ... there could be for a ‘multi-purpose facility’ with a basketball team as the key tenant.” But in Seattle, David Postman wrote arena supporters “already tried hard to present the project as something other than a basketball arena. The spreadsheet distributed recently outlining the deal is headlined, ‘Proposed public financing for a world-class multi-purpose arena in King County’” (SEATTLETIMES.com, 4/16).
HOME ON THE RANGE? In Seattle, McGann, Galloway & Harris note the Sonics are contractually obligated to play in KeyArena until 2010, and if the ownership group wanted to “end their lease early, they’d have to negotiate a buyout with the city.” Also, Bennett would have to petition the NBA before March 1, 2008, in order to relocate the team in time for the ’08-09 season (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 4/17). In Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel writes the Hornets were a “raging success” in their two-season stint in the city largely due to the efforts of the business community and government, and Bennett “was the main reason why.” Tramel: “The NBA owes Bennett big time and knows it. ... It would be very difficult for men who grew up in Oklahoma City to put an NBA franchise somewhere else” (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 4/17).