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Friday, November 2, 2007

Oklahoma City Sonics

posted by on November 2 at 11:27 AM

Surprising absolutely no one, Sonics owner Clay Bennett has officially announced his intention to move the team to Oklahoma City. The press release:

On behalf of the owners of the Seattle SuperSonics and Seattle Storm, I am disappointed that our efforts over the last fifteen months to foster the development of a new multi-purpose arena in the Greater Seattle area were not successful. From the beginning, it has been my absolute hope and expectation that we would be able to secure the necessary governmental commitments to build a successor venue to KeyArena. Even though our proposal for a new state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility to be built in Renton was thoughtfully developed by a world-class team, was financially reasonable and was realistically attainable, we were unable to persuade the Washington Legislature to vote on our bill. The region is still in need of a modern building, not just for the Sonics and Storm, but also for the broad commercial and quality of life benefits such facilities provide.

We now understand and respect that there is very limited public support for such a public investment. As we stated on July 18, 2006, and have stated on many occasions thereafter, KeyArena is not a viable modern venue for the NBA and if a successor facility is not identified by October 31, 2007, we would evaluate our options, which would include relocation. Given the clear lack of public, political, and business support for a new multi-purpose arena, plus the enactment of Initiative 91 as a City of Seattle ordinance following a public vote authorized by the Seattle City Council itself, and the significant operating losses the businesses are now incurring, we have no option but to commence the NBA relocation process.

Today we notified Commissioner Stern that we intend to relocate the Sonics to Oklahoma City if we succeed in the pending litigation with the City, or are able to negotiate an early lease termination, or at the end of the lease term.

We have not made a decision regarding the future location of the Seattle Storm. We appreciate the deep local interest and support for the Storm and have begun to evaluate a future course of action for the team.

Notwithstanding the uncertainty and difficulty of this challenging time, we remain completely committed to the success of our basketball teams. We will continue to provide our players, coaches and staff the tools and support they need to be competitive.

We are also completely committed to providing our fans a first class basketball, entertainment and social experience. We will do all we can to ensure that our fans, sponsors and marketing and broadcast partners enjoy the highest value from their relationship with the Sonics and Storm.

There have been many in the region who have provided courageous, visionary support to our efforts. We sincerely appreciate your hard work and friendship in this difficult process.

RSS icon Comments


If they succeed in the pending litigation? LOL. good luck with that.

Posted by seattle98104 | November 2, 2007 11:33 AM


I need to sit down, I'm so shocked by this turn of events.


So, what's for lunch?

Posted by Chris B | November 2, 2007 11:33 AM

Thank you Howard Schultz!!!!

Enjoy your Starbucks Sonics Fans.

Posted by Clint | November 2, 2007 11:34 AM

dear okies,

i hope you choke on it.

dear howard schultz,

you fucking suck balls.

dear city of seattle,

make them $uffer, and keep the name like cleveland kept the browns.

Posted by max solomon | November 2, 2007 11:34 AM

oh, and

dear david stern,

thanks for nothing.

Posted by max solomon | November 2, 2007 11:35 AM

Disappointment is a two-way street.

Or at least a one-way street. (Not sure I buy this guy's "disappointment" claim.)

Posted by RonK, Seattle | November 2, 2007 11:35 AM

We are also completely committed to providing our fans a first class basketball, entertainment and social experience.

Really? That's a new one on me!

Posted by bma | November 2, 2007 11:36 AM

Good. Seattle doesnt need a basketball team like SF doesnt need a basketball team. I dont think anyone is crying that they have to support the Golden State Warriors or Sactown Kings.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | November 2, 2007 11:44 AM

can someone persuade me that key arena is not adequate for NBA basketball?

what is lacking?

testicle washing stations for suite holders?

Posted by max solomon | November 2, 2007 11:46 AM

The City should let the Sonics out of their lease if they agree to keep the Storm here for say 10 years. That way Key Arena has a tenant, basketball fans have something, and we save lawsuit money. Even if the City wins its still only another couple years before their gone.

Posted by Giffy | November 2, 2007 11:50 AM

The utter transparency of this whole deal from day one has been so incredibly obvious to anyone with eyes, it's ridiculous. As big a douchebag as Bennett is--and make no mistake, the guy has perfumed more va-jay-jay than Summer's Eve--Schultz is really the jackass here. Bennett just wants a team in OKC, and is willing to spread the bullshit anytime, anywhere to make it happen. But his bullshit was obviously bullshit. Schultz actually made us think for half-a-second that when he bought the team and promised to restore it to greatness he was sincere, that he wasn't just a heartless, soulless leech interested in nothing but another few hundred million to toss on he pile.

That cocksucking piece of filth should be ashamed of himself, and his family, friends and associates should all shun him immediately and forever.

Posted by Matthew | November 2, 2007 11:52 AM

Call me old-fashioned @ 9, but I still enjoy the old stations with people doing the 'washing'. More automation and technology isn't always a good thing.

Posted by left coast | November 2, 2007 12:05 PM

DONT GO TO ANY MORE GAMES. I love Durant's play and have supported the sonics since coming here from philly, but DONT GO TO ANY MORE GAMES. its over.

Posted by SeMe | November 2, 2007 12:07 PM

@10 Good idea.

Posted by smiles | November 2, 2007 12:16 PM

Oklahoma City. World class, my ass.

Posted by DaiBando | November 2, 2007 12:19 PM

This is the first time there's been any indication that the Storm might get to stay here. I still think Bennett is a 100% asswipe, but this is progress. I still have hopes he'll allow someone else to come in and buy the Storm. There's no way he gives a rat's ass about women's basketball.

Posted by genevieve | November 2, 2007 12:19 PM

Game over for this franchise. It will wheeze for a few years in OKC, maybe pull up stakes again and move to Charlotte. After that, pull the plug.

Posted by laterite | November 2, 2007 12:22 PM

Don't let the screendoor slam on your sorry ass when you leave, Clay.

Note to Tom Carr -- make the bastards pay through the nose for welshing on their contract with the city. Seek punitive damages as well.

Posted by N in Seattle | November 2, 2007 12:26 PM

Didn't his cohort already admit this during an interview a few months ago?

Posted by Gomez | November 2, 2007 12:28 PM

Key Arena was purposely built small so it could not hold a professional hockey team and compete with basketball. In other words they fucked themselves!

Fuck You Starbucks!
Fuck You Schultz!
Fuck You Oklahoma

Posted by Touring | November 2, 2007 12:40 PM

FU Schultz.

FU Bennett and your swiftboat friends.

FU David Stern for your ruining of a great game with your mismanagement. You better give Okie a new team make Bennett sell to local ownership.

Posted by cw | November 2, 2007 12:40 PM

Can't Paul Allen just buy the Sonics?

There is nothing in Oklahoma City and no reason to ever go there, except to see the memorial to homegrown terrorism.

Posted by okc is the minor leagues | November 2, 2007 12:48 PM

Paul Allen would buy the Sonics.

On the condition that we give him the vast bulk of the money to do so, and agree that he be allowed to keep any and all profits.

And he'd want exclusive rights to Seattle Center and exclusive marketing rights to anything featuring the name "Seattle".

Posted by NapoleonXIV | November 2, 2007 1:01 PM

@22 and 23... Paul Allen already owns the Trailblazers and I'd be surprised if someone is allowed to own two NBA franchises. I've heard it rumored that Allen wants to bring them to Seattle if possible and this might be his chance.

@ Gomez in #19... yes, some minority owner admitted to this a few months ago in an interview. The front office denied that he had any right to speak for the team and both the team and the minority owner were fined by the NBA.

Posted by John | November 2, 2007 1:05 PM

Touring @20: It's true Key Arena was purposely redeveloped too small for the NHL, but that was at the express request of previous owners. So, Fuck You, Too, Ackerleys.

OKC Minor @22: Since the Rose Garden went bust, Paul Allen should just move the Blazers here. That would lessen the carbon footprint of flying his 767 down to Portland for games. There was truly a chill in the air in Portland when the Okies announced they were buying the Sonics, cuz those clever folks in PDX can put 2 and 2 together.

Posted by kk | November 2, 2007 1:10 PM

And "OK City Sonics." heh. Like that town moves at the speed of sound. Just like all Utah grooves to the Jazz.

Posted by kk | November 2, 2007 1:13 PM

The Blazers should move to Centralia and become the Northwest TrailSonics.

Posted by DOUG. | November 2, 2007 1:15 PM

Doug @27: Sorry, Lewis County is saving itself for the new rodeo palace. And more casinos. And maybe NASCAR??

Posted by kk | November 2, 2007 1:17 PM

@27: or, realistically, 21 games at the Rose Garden & 20 at the Key. As long as they're all on the TV, who cares?

Northwest TrailSonics is brilliant.

SeaLand? Porttle?

Posted by max solomon | November 2, 2007 1:20 PM

Na Na Na Na
Na Na Na Na
Hey Hey Hey

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 2, 2007 1:35 PM

Clay, rest assured I'll be visiting the Quiznos and the Harley store at The Oklahoma City Sonics Towne Centre.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | November 2, 2007 2:32 PM

You know, Clay is making the right moves here. Key Arena really is a piece of crap. It's small, it's old, it has bad food, etc. If the team does stay, I don't want to have to go to Key Arena and watch them. Plus, from his side, even if they do sell out the arena, they could build a bigger, better one in OK and make more money. We need to give him a reason to stay and the only reason is a new arena.

Plus, Schultz needed to sell the team. The man was an idiot of an owner. He hired the wrong personnel to manage and coach and, in effect, took one of the best teams in the league and ran them straight into the ground. It's just sad that the team looks like it has potential again and they're being taken away from the fans that love them the most.

Oh, and I do really hate Clay Bennett. He is a homophobic idiot who is a cancer on this beautiful city.

Posted by Mike in Kirkland | November 2, 2007 2:52 PM

@32 You know Key Arena seems new to me. I remember they gutted the whole building years ago down to just four pillars. Bad food is something you can fix if you want to.

Posted by Touring | November 2, 2007 3:39 PM

@32: Key Arena is the best arena in the NBA for the middle class fan. Apparently it sucks for the millionaires to whom a basketball game is merely backdrop for showing off trophy wives and devising ways to screw the proletariat.

Posted by DOUG. | November 2, 2007 4:03 PM

Suggestion for team name: OK Go.

Posted by Will in Seattle | November 2, 2007 4:37 PM

it has bad food
No, food quality is directly proportional to arena size. That's why a ballpark frank is world's better than anything your mom can cook.

Posted by not your cheese | November 2, 2007 5:03 PM

Lloyd @31: Hah!

Posted by kk | November 2, 2007 5:05 PM

Good riddance. The fewer professional sports teams in town, the better. Now we can refit Key Arena for concerts, which already make more money for the city than games.

Now to get rid of baseball, football, hockey, and soccer.

Posted by Gitai | November 2, 2007 5:33 PM

Fuck Clay Clay in the mouth with a hammer!
@13--you are wrong--the ONLY way to save the team is for the league to see how much SUPPORT we as fans give them. If no one shows up, then they think they were right.
And I sat in the very last row last night--the stadium is FINE, I had no complaints other than that shitty band that played.
Did anyone see the 4 yr old breakdancing phenom? Who the fuck was that???

Posted by Kevin Durant | November 2, 2007 9:14 PM

i know im wrong, but i hate being blackmailed. i had the 16 dollar seats too.

boston is looking scary and la pimped the suns.

and no i dont want the Storm, other than LJ they suck!

Posted by SeMe | November 2, 2007 11:11 PM

Clay Bennett can lick my left testicle and play with my right and I hope my pubes get stuck in his teeth and never come loose. I hope he takes it in the butt from Schulz. I'm not very knowledgeable on this law shit, but wouldn't a petition do fine? Of course after a bullet in Bennett's forehead and one in his heart.

Posted by Jason | November 5, 2007 5:35 PM

Clay Bennett and David Stern are pathetic, lying, sacks of shit. Anybody that believes them, like dumbass "Mitch in the Morning" from KJR, also love deep fried Rocky Mountain Oysters just like Clay Clay.

Posted by Mike Savage | November 8, 2007 10:28 PM

Clay Bennett and David Stern are pathetic, lying, sacks of shit. Anybody that believes them, like dumbass "Mitch in the Morning" from KJR, also love deep fried Rocky Mountain Oysters just like Clay Clay.

Posted by Mike Savage | November 8, 2007 10:29 PM

Posted by Gitai:

"Good riddance. The fewer professional sports teams in town, the better."

And fuck you, Gitai. Better yet, get the fuck out of town and move back to where ever you came from, you dumb-fuck outsider.

Yeah, we all know you're not originally from Seattle. Just another pseudo-intellectual, Marxist, sports-hating, dumb- fuck, outsider "hipster."

"I hate sports...I'm fuckin' cool..."

No. You're just another fucking outsider ruining what used to be a great city.

Fuck Starbucks, Schultz, Oklahoma City, Bennett, the NBA, Stern and fuck the Stranger, another entity full of outsiders, outsiders too cool for sports.

"Sports are not important."

You're probably right. But pro sports are more important than Gay Pride Week, commie-pinko bullshit, homeless bums and drug using hipster assholes on Capital Hill.

Again, fuck off Gitai, you fucking drug using asshole on Capital Hill.

Posted by The Man | November 9, 2007 12:04 AM

Possible Sonics Team Names If They Move to Oklahoma City

This all starbucks fault.

Posted by Jeff | November 9, 2007 11:42 AM

Fuck Clay and his bullshit. KEY AREANA IS FINE! There is no need to build a new one! Do NBA games even sell out anymore? anywhere? I hear more about hockey in todays world anyway, Bring the NHL here.

I love the sonics, and would be very sad to see them leave but im not willing to sit back and let Seattle take it in the ass from the nba, and build a new areana. Eat shit and die Clay

Posted by Greg | November 14, 2007 1:14 AM

ehh fuck seattle..

Posted by craig | November 16, 2007 11:20 PM

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