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Old 07-02-2008, 08:45 PM   #1
fansince'76
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Default It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

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SuperSonics, Seattle Reach Last-Minute Settlement

By Tim Booth, AP Sports Writer

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.

AP Sports Writer Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.
Sonics Moving to OKC
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

it was only a matter of time before he got that team moved. but to oklahoma city????? what is really in oklahoma that anyone wants to see..lol
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

now all the players got 2 leave and sell there homes... so basically the fans and players are getting screwed.. i wonder what the colors/logo and name is
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

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Originally Posted by lilyoder6 View Post
now all the players got 2 leave and sell there homes... so basically the fans and players are getting screwed.. i wonder what the colors/logo and name is
well its oklahoma that should tell you something...
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

It'll be cheaper COL for the players. This will be another one of those weird "names that don't match", like (Minnesota) LA Lakers and (New Orleans) Utah Jazz...
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

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This will be another one of those weird "names that don't match", like (Minnesota) LA Lakers and (New Orleans) Utah Jazz...
Or like the "Memphis Grizzlies," which made a hell of a lot more sense when the team was in Canada where there actually are grizzlies. This might not be one of those cases as part of the agreement is that the city of Seattle will retain the team name and colors.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

i have a few ideas for a new name...
1. the oklahoma city waving wheat
2. the oklahoma city tornados
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

How about...The Oklahoma It Don't Matters Cuz Ain't No One Watching Us Here
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
Or like the "Memphis Grizzlies," which made a hell of a lot more sense when the team was in Canada where there actually are grizzlies. This might not be one of those cases as part of the agreement is that the city of Seattle will retain the team name and colors.
Memphis had a World Football League team in the 70's called the Grizzlies. Strangely enough they had a Charlotte Hornets as well.
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Old 07-03-2008, 01:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: It's Official - Sonics Moving to OKC

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Originally Posted by stlrtruck View Post
How about...The Oklahoma It Don't Matters Cuz Ain't No One Watching Us Here
that is great.. there is nothing in oklahoma..lol
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