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 Post subject: Supersonics off to OKC!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:16 pm 
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:-/ Sonics released from Seattle lease, will move

Updated: July 2, 2008, 7:46 PM EST 384 comments add this RSS blog email print SEATTLE (AP) -

The SuperSonics will move to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season as part of a settlement with the city of Seattle, ending a contentious relationship that resulted in a trial in which the judge was due to issue her ruling Wednesday.

The settlement calls for Sonics owner Clay Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club LLC to pay up to $75 million to the city in exchange for the immediate termination of the KeyArena lease between the NBA team and the city.

The team's name and colors will be staying in Seattle.

"We made it," Bennett said after stepping to an Oklahoma City podium featuring the NBA logo and the letters OKC. "The NBA will be in Oklahoma City next season."

Bennett said the move would start Thursday and the first focus would be on the SuperSonics' players.

Bennett announced that the settlement calls for a payment of $45 million immediately, and would include another $30 million paid to Seattle in 2013 if the state Legislature in Washington authorizes at least $75 million in public funding to renovate KeyArena by the end of 2009 and Seattle doesn't obtain an NBA franchise of its own within the next five years.

"We understand that city, county, and state officials are currently discussing a plan to substantially rebuild KeyArena for the sum of $300 million," NBA commissioner David Stern said in a statement. "If this funding were authorized, we believe KeyArena could properly be renovated into a facility that meets NBA standards relating to revenue generation, fan amenities, team facilities, and the like."

Bennett said he and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels signed a binding agreement Wednesday, which would be formalized later, that keeps the SuperSonics' name, logo and colors available if Seattle gets a replacement franchise.

"We have 30 million reasons why we have support for a future NBA team," Seattle city attorney Tom Carr said.

In April, the NBA Board of Governors approved Bennett's application to move the team to Oklahoma City, pending the outcome of the trial between the team and the city. The settlement came six days after the trial concluded.

It doesn't cover a pending lawsuit filed by Starbucks Corp. chairman Howard Schultz, who is seeking to regain control of the team he sold to Bennett in 2006 for $350 million. Schultz claims that Bennett didn't follow through on an agreement to negotiate in good faith for a new arena in Seattle for one full year before seeking relocation options.

The trial was centered on the lease agreement between the city and the team that called for the Sonics to play at KeyArena through the 2009-10 season.

Sonics lead attorney Brad Keller contended that Bennett should simply be able to write a check to satisfy the final two years of the lease. Keller argued that the "specific performance" clause the city rested its case on should not apply in a garden-variety dispute between tenant and landlord.

Bennett and his ownership group previously offered to pay the city $26.5 million in February to buy out the final two years of the lease. They were rebuffed


Last edited by bige on Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Supersonics off to OKC!
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:20 pm 
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How about the OKC Thunder ::)


Last edited by bige on Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Supersonics off to OKC!
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:51 am 
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Oklahoma City Thunder is a decent nickname. It certainly fits in with the other non-concrete nouns of the NBA (Magic, Heat, Jazz).


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 Post subject: Supersonics off to OKC!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:48 pm 
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dafoeberezin3494 wrote:
Oklahoma City Thunder is a decent nickname. It certainly fits in with the other non-concrete nouns of the NBA (Magic, Heat, Jazz).


NBA trademarks six nicknames for Oklahoma City franchise

Citing the United States Trademark and Patent Office, the newspaper said that the league filed for a trademark on Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind.

It has been rumored in the last few weeks that the team formerly known as the Seattle SuperSonics is leaning toward Thunder, but the NBA would not reveal that information.

“The NBA will not have a comment on this until a nickname is selected,” NBA senior director of basketball communications Tim Frank told the newspaper.

Citing a source close to team ownership, Oklahoma City’s ABC affiliate previously reported that the “registrar for all of the NBA’s Internet domain names were reserved okcthunderbasketball.com and okcthunderbasketball.net on July 10,” suggesting that the franchise will soon be renamed.

The franchise left the Pacific Northwest after an ugly court case ended with an agreement between the team and the city of Seattle, which released the club from its lease at KeyArena - the crux of the disagreement.

In the court case, the city of Seattle had been seeking to hold the owners of the Sonics to the remaining two years of the team’s KeyArena lease and Sonics’ season-ticket holders also filed a class-action lawsuit that contended they were tricked into buying tickets under the belief that the team would be staying in the Pacific Northwest.

Sonics majority owner Clay Bennett and his ownership group alleged the team was losing money at KeyArena, thereby necessitating a move to Oklahoma City.

However, the Sonics and the city of Seattle came to an agreement on July 2, just hours before a district court judge was to issue a verdict on the six-day trial.

As per the agreement, the Oklahoma City franchise agreed to leave the Sonics’ name, logo and colors behind for a potential future NBA franchise in Seattle.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:59 pm 
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This still makes me sick to my stomach.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:30 pm 
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Me too. I sickens me that some sports leagues take the instant gratification approach to relocation and expansion. City raises a few bucks, and poaches a sports team from a market that the league should be in for the long term benefit of the league. And this usually happens because the original city is being cost cautious and not caving to the demands of a single owner.

The NBA might be the worst culprit.

Once there was some semblance of improved moves that did things like bring the lakers to Los Angeles from Minneapolis, etc.

But then you have the Stern years.

Recently, you had the NBA expand to Vancouver, pull the plug early and allow a move to Memphis.
And then there are the Hornets. They are in Charlotte with a bad owner in Shinn who alienated the fans and city. So the NBA allows him to move the team to New Orleans which hasn't had the best track record of supporting teams (NBA once left there for Salt Lake City). Fine, it happened. Move on. But no, the NBA then says "here you go Charlotte, pay up your entry fee and here's a team for you". The league should have forced Shinn to sell the team when it was still in Charlotte and there would have been no need for expansion. But if you wanted to expand, they could have done so in a city that can actually support basketball other than New Orleans.

And back to Seattle. The league needs the sport in the regions biggest city. But instead, they allow them to move to Oklahoma city??? Just awful from a business perspective. They should have worked with the city on a new arena deal rather than holding them hostage. The sport suffers as a result.

F' the NBA...I'll watch the NCAA!!

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Quinn wrote:
Recently, you had the NBA expand to Vancouver, pull the plug early and allow a move to Memphis.
And then there are the Hornets. They are in Charlotte with a bad owner in Shinn who alienated the fans and city. So the NBA allows him to move the team to New Orleans which hasn't had the best track record of supporting teams (NBA once left there for Salt Lake City). Fine, it happened. Move on. But no, the NBA then says "here you go Charlotte, pay up your entry fee and here's a team for you". The league should have forced Shinn to sell the team when it was still in Charlotte and there would have been no need for expansion. But if you wanted to expand, they could have done so in a city that can actually support basketball other than New Orleans.

And back to Seattle. The league needs the sport in the regions biggest city. But instead, they allow them to move to Oklahoma city??? Just awful from a business perspective. They should have worked with the city on a new arena deal rather than holding them hostage. The sport suffers as a result.

F' the NBA...I'll watch the NCAA!!


I agree completely. Instead of trying to get new owners in to replace the incompetent ones (Vancouver, Seattle) or trying to work with the city (Charlotte Hornets), Stern takes the stance that the fans are to blame and lets the owners do what they want, and only Paul Allen and Mark Cuban have the stones to stand up to Dave's cult of personality. I have a feeling he'll make the wrong couple of moves and leave the NBA in a shambles, as bad off as before the Bird/Magic/Michael days.


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