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Old 07-21-2007, 11:51 AM   #1
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Default Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

Of course, the slightly larger question is what city the Sonics will be calling home after the coming season. Majority owner Clay Bennett has issued an Oct. 31 ultimatum for Seattle to come up with an arena solution and further stirred that situation this week by calling upon Mayor Greg Nickels to garner support among local business and political leaders to find an answer. Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Asked what he'd do if Bennett asks out of the lease, Nickels repeated his assertion that he intends to make the Sonics play out their term, but noted, "In my business, you never want to say never." Deputy mayor Tim Ceis told the Seattle P-I last month that every lease is open to negotiations between its two parties and the city's primary intent will be to be made whole financially if the Sonics do choose to flee the Key early. Nickels noted Friday there are no iron-clad lease agreements. Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Meanwhile, Bennett continues to say he has no interest in KeyArena as a future site for his Sonics. He also went on KJR on Friday and again ruled out the Sonics' current home as a viable NBA home while also noting he feels the Muckleshoot property in Auburn is too far south of Seattle, though he remains open to their proposals. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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Old 08-27-2007, 07:54 PM   #2
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Default aug 27 2007

Seattle politicians are talking tough about the Sonics' lease at city-owned KeyArena. Mayor Greg Nickels says he'll force the Sonics to remain through the end of the lease in September 2010, despite owner Clay Bennett's stated desire to take the team to Oklahoma if he doesn't get a deal for a new arena in the next two months. City Council members say they'll introduce legislation prohibiting any early buyout. Seattle TimesBut can city officials really chain the Sonics to KeyArena for three more years? As a general rule, tenants cannot be forced to stay until the end of a lease; landlords can merely collect monetary damages for breach of contract. But the Sonics' lease contains language that could allow the city to reject an early buyout. The single paragraph, known as a "specific performance" clause, essentially says the city can require the Sonics to stay at KeyArena for the full term. Seattle Times

A Bennett spokesman declined to comment on the matter.
Although Bennett has not said he would sue to break the lease, he has indicated he would like to negotiate an early exit. Bennett also has said he'll seek NBA permission to relocate the Sonics and Storm if he doesn't get an arena deal in the Seattle area by Oct. 31. If it comes down to a fight, the specific-performance clause in the Sonics' lease could give the city important legal leverage. While it would not permanently prevent a move, the clause could jack up a settlement price or even encourage a team sale. Seattle TimesLegal experts said judges usually rule that tenants can escape leases provided they pay enough money. "The general rule in contract remedies is you are only entitled to the economic expectation or its equivalent. You are not entitled to their actual performance of the contract," said Kate O'Neill, a University of Washington law professor who teaches contract law. Seattle Times
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:59 AM   #3
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Default sept 8 2007

Sonics and Storm owner Clay Bennett said Friday he won't cloud the opening of the Sonics season by immediately filing with the NBA for permission to relocate the teams if an Oct. 31 deadline passes with no deal for a new arena. Bennett previously indicated he'd file for relocation on Nov. 1 — the day of the Sonics' regular-season home opener at KeyArena. On Friday, Bennett said he'd made those comments before he knew the team schedule and he now wants the players to "have the stage to themselves as they open the season." Seattle Times

But it may only be a matter of time. Bennett did not back away from his Oct. 31 deadline to land an arena deal and said he would eventually ask the NBA for permission to move the teams if no arena plan emerges. The NBA sets a deadline of March 1 for teams to file for relocation the following season. Seattle Times

Bennett visited the Seattle area this week and toured the Emerald Downs horse-racing track in Auburn with Emerald Downs President Ron Crockett and King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has said it is studying the idea of a new basketball arena on tribal land next to the track. Seattle Times
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Old 09-14-2007, 06:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

Former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, who sued baseball to help Seattle land the Mariners and later brokered an ownership change to keep the team in town, has been enlisted in the fight to save the Sonics and Storm. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels tapped Gorton to add political and legal heft to the city's efforts to keep the Sonics at KeyArena through the end of the team's lease in 2010, said Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis. It is too early to say whether Gorton will attempt to repeat his Mariners performance by brokering an arena deal or team sale. But Ceis said forcing the Sonics to remain at city-owned KeyArena for the next three years is a start. Seattle Times

Sonics and Storm owner Clay Bennett has set an Oct. 31 deadline for a new arena deal. If he doesn't get it, Bennett has said his Oklahoma City-based ownership group will seek NBA permission to move the Sonics and Storm as early as next season. A Bennett spokesman had no immediate comment late Wednesday. Nickels has refused to discuss an early Sonics-lease buyout with Bennett. The City Council this week passed an ordinance formally opposing any such buyout. The Storm's KeyArena lease also runs through 2010 but allows the team to opt out after any season.Seattle Times


hahaa-- just shows ya where the storm lies....
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

SEATTLE -- Seattle and the SuperSonics have been partners for four decades. Now comes the inevitable ugliness of a divorce.
The Sonics have asked for an arbitration panel to rule that they do not have to play the final two seasons of their lease at KeyArena, saying the contract's terms allow the team to negotiate a buyout. That would allow the Sonics to relocate after this coming season unless the team secures a new arena in the Seattle area by Oct. 31.


"Given the tenor of the city government … demanding that we play in KeyArena for three years, the city's retention of a very highly respected former U.S. senator to assist in their efforts and their own statement of 'lawyering up,' we believe it's time to engage," Sonics chairman Clay Bennett said Friday, after the team filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association.
Bennett said he hoped his action will "serve
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

Updated: September 24, 2007, 8:31 PM ET

SEATTLE -- Seattle officials filed a lawsuit Monday to keep the SuperSonics from leaving town, saying the team's profitability in much-maligned KeyArena "has less to do with KeyArena than perhaps the Sonics' ability to defend the high pick-and-roll."


The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court just a few days after new Sonics chairman Clay Bennett issued a demand for arbitration, seeking to buy out the remainder of the team's lease unless an agreement on a new arena is reached by the end of next month. The complaint asks that a judge force the Sonics to stay through the end of the lease, in 2010.
Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr and former Republican U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, the city's legal big gun, said the issue is simple: In exchange for $74 million in renovations to the old Seattle Coliseum in the mid-1990s, the Sonics agreed to play all of their home games there through Sept. 30, 2010.


"The lease is 15 years. We didn't agree to a 12- or 13-year lease term," Carr said. "We simply ask that they keep that agreement."
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

Any chance Clay Bennett could be assassinated?
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:02 AM   #8
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

Instead of trumpeting a new era featuring Durant, the franchise’s most anticipated rookie ever and last season’s national college player of the year at Texas, the Sonics are in federal court with city government. The franchise is trying to get permission to have an arbitration panel rule on whether it can buy its way out of the final three years of its Key Arena lease, which N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern has called the worst in the league for a franchise’s revenues. In response, the city has sued the Sonics. AP/NY Times

Bennett said ticket sales climbed after Durant was drafted but have since dropped, foreshadowing a possible repeat of last season, when, the Sonics said, they lost $17 million while finishing 31-51. As of Thursday, season-ticket packages were available in all price ranges. And Durant’s Seattle debut has gotten a lukewarm response — tickets remain for the home opener Nov. 1 against Phoenix. AP/NY Times
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

Quote:
Originally Posted by marny_navis
Any chance Clay Bennett could be assassinated?

ouch!
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

Maybe we are dreaming, 'cause we have not found many places more charming or beautiful in our travels. But there were slight rumblings this week that there may be a chance for the Sonics to stay in Seattle. First, we are told by two sources that at last month's Board of Governors meeting, Clay Bennett informed his fellow owners that he hadn't closed the door on working out a deal with local officials for a new arena, which has been the sticking point between Sonics ownership and the city for years. Philadelphia Inquirer

But Bennett also said that he was proceeding with his application to move the team to Oklahoma City when the Sonics' lease with the city's Key Arena expires in 2010 in order to protect his business interests. Bennett officially announced his plans to move 10 days ago. Second, we are told by a local person with extensive knowledge of the negotiations between the city and the team - we will call him Mr. Seattle - that the political ground in the city may have shifted a bit. Philadelphia Inquirer

But those local politicians now know there has to be some public investment to keep the Sonics in Seattle. "The psychology's changed," Mr. Seattle says. "The perception [before] was the rich guy's trying to get into the public till again. Now, it's 'We're saving the team.' " Philadelphia Inquirer

Seattle has filed suit against Bennett in federal court, claiming Bennett is not making a good faith effort to negotiate, and should not be allowed to break the lease at KeyArena before its 2010 expiration date. At the moment, that remains the city's best hope for keeping the team in town. Philadelphia Inquirer
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:42 AM   #11
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

I'm thinking assasination's not too bad of an idea right now. Give it some thought, Seattle fans!





Just kidding. :)
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:14 AM   #12
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Default feb 17 2008

Stern could not, however, offer a hint of optimism for the "S.O.S." (Save Our Sonics) force in Seattle. "There is no miracle here," Stern said. Arizona Republic

Stern has suggested the Sonics pay about $30 million to take care of the lease and outstanding bond debt, but Stern said that offer was rejected. "I feel actually badly that the team, when it leaves either now or in two years, is going to leave behind an unpaid debt which the city has," Stern said. Arizona Republic

NBA commissioner David Stern said the Seattle SuperSonics are moving to greener pastures. In his strongest statement concerning the team’s bleak future in Seattle, during his annual press conference at All-Star Weekend, Stern essentially said the team will relocate to Oklahoma City, either after this season, or in two years if forced by court order to fulfill the remainder of the team’s lease at KeyArena. Tacoma News Tribune

Further, Stern said the Sonics ownership group this week offered to pay for the final years of the lease agreement, along with money still owed on the construction bond used to refurbish KeyArena in 1994, an amount nearing $30 million. Stern said the Sonics’ offer was turned down. “I accept the inevitability at this point,” Stern said, when asked if he was convinced the Sonics would leave Seattle. “There is no miracle here.” Tacoma News Tribune

However, according to information obtained by The News Tribune, the city reportedly asked for the Sonics to submit a buyout offer this week. Marty McOmber, spokesman for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, said he was not aware if someone from the city had asked the Sonics to submit an offer. “It’s completely inappropriate for Commissioner Stern to be revealing conversations between lawyers, period,” McOmber said. Tacoma News Tribune

“It’s apparent to all who are watching that the Sonics are heading out of Seattle,” Commissioner David Stern said Saturday during his annual All-Star weekend address. “There’s not going to be a new arena. There’s not going to be a public contribution, and that’s everyone’s right.” Stern has long been pessimistic about the prospects of a public-private partnership to finance an arena, but his statements Saturday were his strongest to date. If the Sonics win a legal ruling to break their lease, they could be playing in Oklahoma City as soon as next season. If the team loses that ruling, it would be free to leave in 2010, when its lease at KeyArena expires. NY Times
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and wireless magnate John Stanton are among the local investors behind an effort to buy the Sonics and cover half the cost of a $300 million KeyArena expansion to try to keep the team in Seattle, sources confirmed Wednesday. Neither Stanton nor Ballmer could be reached for comment Wednesday night. The other members of the investment group, Costco CEO Jim Sinegal and Seattle developer Matt Griffin, have previously disclosed their own involvement. Seattle Times

Seattle leaders are pushing the offer of private cash as a "game changer" that ought to sway state legislators to pass an arena package to keep the Sonics from moving to team owner Clay Bennett's hometown of Oklahoma City. The proposed 50-50 split beats anything put on the table by Sonics owners. Even some usual critics of taxpayer subsidies for pro sports — including anti-stadium activist Chris Van Dyk and Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata — say it could be a good deal. Seattle Times
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

check out:


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sonics/2004266448_sonics07m.html




also--







Sonics rally planned
Posted by Jayda Evans
Save Our Sonics planned a rally in Olympia for tomorrow. Organizers admitted to the late notice, but given all the news that has generated this week and how the onus is now on legislators to make a move, the need is now to show support, according to co-founder Brian Robinson. Here's the release.

When: Saturday, March 8, 10-11am
Please try to be there a few minutes early to account for the drive and parking.
Where: Between Legislative Building and Capital, Dome
Please join us in the courtyard between these two buildings.

What: Show support for keeping the Sonics in the region
Supporters of the legislation to fund a Key Arena Renovation package proposed by Seattle Mayor Greg Nichols and supported by new potential team ownership will gather at the steps of the legislative building encouraging members of legislature to pass the proposal during the current legislative session.
Participants are encouraged to wear Sonics logo clothing and all participants will receive a complimentary Save Our Sonics T-Shirt.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Garage Sale: News of the Sonics Move Out of Seattle

here is a related thread:

http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=78190
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