The sonics have always had a bad lease on the Key Arena with Seattle. Howard Schultz, former owner, was losing too much money, and sold the team to Clay Bennett and a group from OKC. Clay promised to make a "good faith" effort to keep the team in Seattle. This "Good Faith" Effort consisted of complaining about the lease, getting Stern to deem the Key Arena unsuited to play basketball in, and propose a 100% Publicly funded arena in Renton, WA (South of Seattle). Seeing that this arena would cost $500 million, and not one cent would come from Bennett, it was shot down in the vote. To Bennett, this meant that Seattle wanted no part of the NBA. However, he still had a lease with Seattle until 2011 to use the Key Arena (From old ownership). Realizing the outrage that would come up if the city did nothing, the city sued Bennett for trying to break the lease early, trying to keep the team in Seattle for two more seasons (This trial). Today, the two sides settled out of court.
Howard Schultz also realized that Bennett never had any intention of keeping the Sonics in Seattle. He is now suing for Breach of contract, hoping to get the team back. This trial will probably start at the end of the summer (rough guess).
That's all well and true...but, let's not forget earlier in the decade, the city of Seattle and the state of Washington spent about $1 billion building new stadiums for the Mariners and Seahawks, as well as pouring in millions more years eariler in rebuilding what eventually became KeyArena. In that alone, I can't blame the folks in Washington state and the Seattle area for having to foot the bill for another new or rebuilt sports facility.
It's going to be different for sure not having Seattle as a NBA city. At least Bennett and his goons had what little decency to leave the history, name, and colors where they belong.
Last edited by ShawnieMac06 : 07-03-2008 at 11:59 AM.
Re: Sonics will move to OKC for 2008-09 season. Sonics name stays with Seattle
The conclusion reached unfortunately is the one nobody really wanted except the business heads
I've never followed Seattle much since watching the NBA, though I loved watching Ray and Rashard playing together, especially that playoff year a few seasons ago. Obviously they have a lot more pedigree and history than that but I've only been watching the NBA for about 6 years now, but its so sad its come to this.
I feel awful for the Sonic fans and I hope you get an expansion team as early as possible if thats any consolation, which it probably isn't.
That's all well and true...but, let's not earlier in the decade, the city and the state of Washington spent about $1 billion building next stadiums for the Mariners and Seahawks, as well as pouring in millions more years eariler in rebuilding what eventually became KeyArena. In that alone, I can't blame the folks in Washington state and the Seattle area for having to foot the bill for another new or rebuilt sports facility.
I completely agree. Thats why I called Bennett's $500 million dollar, publicly funded arena a "good faith" effort which actually was just an excuse for him to get out of town. He knew that the proposal would be rejected, giving him a reason to leave. I'm not blaming the public for rejecting the offer, I'm mad at him for making an unreasonable offer.
Another amazing thing about all of this is that the league (Stern) said Key Arena was not suitable for an NBA team, and Bennet said renovating it would not be an option. Now that the team is gone, All we need to do is renovate Key Arena to get back on the NBA's radar. Stern said that the NBA could thrive in a renovated Key Arena, for just $75 Million public dollars (Still a lot, but reasonable). Why didn't you give us that option before you took our team, *******?