News The Statement. And the Real Statement.
posted by November 2 at 12:40 PMon
Mayor Nickels just issued this re: Clay Bennett’s announcement:
Seattle and Key Arena have been home to the Sonics – and more recently the Storm – for 41 years. I believe that tradition should continue. .
I will do everything in my power to enforce our lease and keep the Sonics and Storm where they belong – in Seattle through 2010 and beyond.
However, here’s what Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis told me:
First of all, he called Bennett’s October 31st deadline “bullshit,” explaining that there was no legit or legal reason for Bennett to announce this today. And this segues into Ceis’s other reaction to Bennett’s provocative announcement: “This is an attempt to drive attendance down. He wants to make the case in court [next Spring when the city and the Sonics duke it out in federal court over whether the Sonics can break their lease] that this isn’t a good market.”
Ceis adds this: “Well, we’ll use it in court to” to show that Bennett isn’t acting in good faith to keep the Sonics here.
Ceis added that if NBA commissioner David Stern signs off on Bennett’s plans to move to Oklahoma, “it should send a chill down the spine every city that does business with the NBA. If he [Stern] supports [Bennett’s position] it means your contract, your lease with the NBA is meaningless.”