SBD/Issue 193/Facilities & Venues

KeyArena Set To Host Blazers-Suns Exhibition Game In October

KeyArena In October To Host First
NBA Game Since Sonics Left
The NBA "will stage an exhibition Oct. 14 at KeyArena" between the Trail Blazers and Suns, according to Percy Allen of the SEATTLE TIMES. Blazers play-by-play announcer Brian Wheeler "broke the news Tuesday on his KXL-AM radio show in Portland," and an NBA official "confirmed a Blazers-Suns game in Seattle is set." KJR-AM radio host Mike Gastineau: "I'm a little surprised that there's a move to play a game up here because it seems awfully raw still. It seems pretty quick to try to come back." The Blazers "considered hosting an exhibition game in Seattle last year," but team execs said that there "wasn't enough time to organize a game" (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/25). In Seattle, Greg Johns wrote, "Even the most hard-core NBA followers are ho-hum about preseason games." Johns: "Having the Sonics stolen away to Oklahoma City has left a hole in the hearts of most NBA fans in Seattle, so I'm having a hard time imagining there'll be much interest in going to see a practice game between two former Western Conference rivals. But maybe I'm missing something. Maybe there's a groundswell of support from folks wanting to show Seattle still has some NBA heartbeat" (SEATTLEPI.com, 6/24).

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