FanDuel - WFBC

July 18, 2006

Up in the sky -- it's a bird, it's a plane ... it's Seattle's NBA franchise leaving town!: The Seattle Supersonics have been sold to a consortium based in Oklahoma City. The team also has a lease at KeyArena through 2010.

posted by wfrazerjr to basketball at 02:45 PM - 23 comments

WOW! Genuinely didn't see it coming. There had been very little talk about this recently. The city made it clear that no new arena would be built in Seattle, but both the suburbs of Bellevue and Renton had expressed plenty of interest so it didn't seem like there was much chance of the team leaving. Two thoughts, one is that this is the team that brought us our only major pro championship we might be losing, and two is that if Howard Schultze was twice the businessman everybody thinks he is, he'd be half the businessman he really is.

posted by vito90 at 03:23 PM on July 18

They had threatened to sell the team after their lease expired in 2010 unless the city gave them a larger cut of any revenue and $220 million in taxpayer-funded remodeling of KeyArena A quarter of a billion dollars (after cost overruns) for an 11 year old arena? Whatta joke. If they got what they wanted, what would they ask for in 2016? When I was a kid, I fell for the sports pork scam. I'm older and smarter now. If you're a little kid who will miss the Sonics, let this be a lesson to you about the real world, and what taxes really mean. There is no free lunch.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 03:26 PM on July 18

Didn't the Sonics hold the city over a barrel to get them to dig up and completely redo the Key Arena in the mid 90s (then the Seattle Center Arena) to keep them in town? Is that all a major gutting and renovation buys you? 10 lousy years? This is outrageous.

posted by psmealey at 03:27 PM on July 18

Hmm...it say's they're being bought right...not relocated? Well if so, then send them to Oklahoma City...they were great tenants for the displaced Hornets this year...

posted by chemwizBsquared at 03:35 PM on July 18

1) Yes, this is outrageous, for the reasons outlined by fellow SFites. The good part, I guess, is that citizens saw the error of their ways and weren't going to get snookered again. 2) I agree with Chemwiz about OKC, which seems to have been a better host than Orlando, Charlotte, Atlanta and any number of bandwagoning Sun Belt cities the NBA seems to love placing teams in.

posted by jackhererra at 04:51 PM on July 18

The Sonics aren't moving, but if the Oklahoma City-based ownership that helped build an NBA-ready facility in Oklahoma City and temporarily lure the Hornets to Oklahoma City doesn't get what they want from Seattle, I can think of one city that might like to have them. I still fall for the sports pork scam. If my tax dollars are going to be squandered, better they be squandered to make the local pro teams stick around.

posted by rcade at 04:53 PM on July 18

Yeah, its right out of the black and white movies. It;s 20$ to park in the lot with a ticket. Ever been toa Hawks game or Bears game.Sorry Sir parking is not on the ticket. I have enough high priced teams in my town. Thank God we did'nt take them.

posted by volfire at 05:03 PM on July 18

I don't know the specifics of the deal that the Sonics were asking from the city, but it's been shown that stadiums funded by taxpayers actually are cheaper than the privately funded ones. An extensive study by a Harvard urban planner graduate student named Judith Grant Long revealed that the concessions made by city officials to privately funded stadium projects end up costing the cities millions in upkeep and lost revenue. Perhaps Seattle should have footed the bill to keep the franchise and make a little money as well.

posted by mattcschmidt at 05:20 PM on July 18

I used to get made at the (m/b)illionaire owners who convinced the cities, states, etc. to fork over huge amounts of funds to build them an arena/stadium/sports center/etc. Then I realized that the problem is really the politicians and in many cases the idiot voters who allow this. Why shouldn't the owners take free money? I'm just thankful that I live in a small enough city that it can't happen here, though even it made a laughable bid for the new Cowboy stadium.

posted by graymatters at 05:37 PM on July 18

As long as cities keep giving into pro teams enough will never be enough. It doesn't seem to matter how much the taxpayers put up, the response will always be the same. Please sir, can I have some more. Maybe if the NBA team's stoped paying their players such ridicules amounts of money, they could do it themselves. I just saw a few days ago that a Cleveland player is going to be paid 80 mil over five years. That is 1/3 the cost of a new arena.To one player. This can only be made to make sense if its the taxpayers who are footing the bill. At a time when people are having to decide between putting gas in their or food on their table, its high time the answer was, no you can't have anymore. As for your question volfire, have I ever been to a Bears game? No I was only given probation.

posted by CB900 at 06:03 PM on July 18

I've been to a Bears game and I loved it any how go supersonics in oklahoma city you know the Bulls ripped your heart out a few years ago in the finals maybe the new ressurected bulls will do the same in 2010 good luck supersonics in whatever your future is

posted by luther70 at 06:26 PM on July 18

Oklahoma City Supersonics, doesn't have that catchy sound like Oklahoma city Hornets did/does.

posted by sgtcookzane at 08:41 PM on July 18

This is what happens Mr. Shinn when you speak out of both sides of your mouth and try to take advantage of a natural disaster and the good nature of people for your own personal gain. What city or circumstance is going to allow you to bargain with New Orleans now? Bring on the Sonics and Oklahomans will get on with the business of embracing a team with an ownership group with more character. I am sure someone will correct me on this but I do believe that Hornets had the lowest attendance before Katrina.

posted by sgtcookzane at 08:52 PM on July 18

NO/OKC was actually eleventh in attendance last year, but the year before that they were last. (I would have guessed Atlanta was dead last, and they're consistently at or close to it, but the New Orleans Hornets were not a big draw before this.) It remains to be seen how things pan out next year with this happening and the city being rebuilt. And if the Oklahoma City Sonics stays the name of the team if/when they move, you'll get used to the ring right quick.

posted by chicobangs at 09:10 PM on July 18

chicobangs: And if the Oklahoma City Sonics stays the name of the team if/when they move, you'll get used to the ring right quick. That's true. People like to talk about how ridiculous a name "Utah Jazz" is, but we're all used to "Los Angeles Lakers" without a second thought. You can always play jazz in Salt Lake City, but you'll never but a significant lake in Los Angeles. Even the lake in Lake Los Angeles, CA is gone!

posted by L.N. Smithee at 10:20 PM on July 18

Oklahoma City Supersonics, doesn't have that catchy sound like Oklahoma city Hornets did/does. How about the Okie Dokies?

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:43 PM on July 18

I wish that Politicians and Sports had never gotten married; but, now that they're married and have a bunch of multimillionare spoiled brat kids, what are you gonna do? It's getting to the point that once a new stadium is built you'll need to start breaking ground for the next new stadium or Sports will start talking about getting a divorce and taking the brats with her to a new city to live.

posted by Familyman at 05:47 AM on July 19

Oklahoma needs a new p.b.r.(professional,bull,riders) arena,not a basketball team.They want to bring a hockey team to kansas city,it won't work, this is not a hockey town.we could have used the supersonics,but as usual Missouri drops the ball when it comes to making decisions.

posted by kckurtbusch at 07:54 AM on July 19

I still fall for the sports pork scam. Oh, me too. Those hotdogs are soooo gross, way overpriced, but totally delicious and a damn necessity. Sometimes, if you're lucky it's a sports beef scam.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:46 AM on July 19

Never fell for the sports pork scam. I don't dig on swine. Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.

posted by HATER 187 at 09:07 AM on July 19

Oklahoma City Supersonics, doesn't have that catchy sound like Oklahoma city Hornets did/does. Oddly, the corporate HQ for Sonic (America's Drive-In!) is within walking distance of the Ford Center in OKC. It just may work. I went to the Mavs/Hornets game up in OKC this past year and was very impressed with the attendance and excuberance of the Okie fans. Having grown up in Tulsa, it sucked to not have a single pro franchise of any sort in the entire state. While they may always defer to college football, it appears to me that OKC is definitely a valid candidate for hosting the Sonics (or whoever) for quite a while. Just watch the attendence climb even higher as CP3 and Peja make the Hornets playoff contenders. Then again, it's all speculation until they lock up a pro franchise.

posted by Ufez Jones at 09:32 AM on July 19

I know that this would never happen, but Connecticut really, really needs a professional franchise outside of the Connecticut Sun. That would be awesome.

posted by redsoxrgay at 01:46 PM on July 19

i cant see sonics in another state it dont look right plus i remember hearing about the hornets moved to new orleans i still cant call them the new orleans hornets its just hornets b/c they played in 2 states within 3 yrs

posted by defrag3x at 11:53 AM on July 21

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