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Seattle Supersonics to move to Oklahoma City


CapeFish

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Bennett Asks To Move Sonics

 

SEATTLE -- A year after formally taking ownership of the Seattle SuperSonics and WNBA Storm, and with no plans for a new arena here, owner Clay Bennett said Friday he will file with the NBA to relocate the teams to Oklahoma City.

 

The move was hardly unexpected. Bennett had set an Oct. 31 deadline -- one year from when he took ownership -- for having a plan for a new arena to replace KeyArena, which Bennett says is unacceptable and outdated. Otherwise, he said, he would ask the league for permission to move the teams.

 

Not wanting to distract from the start of the Sonics season, Bennett backed off that deadline, but only briefly. He watched Thursday night's home opener against Phoenix from his owner's suite, spending most of the second half chatting with Hall of Famer Bill Russell while fans started spontaneous chants of "Save Our Sonics" during various points of the game.

 

"Today we notified commissioner (David) 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," Bennett said in a lengthy statement

KIRO Video of Bennet's Announcement

 

Another article from KING5.com: http://www.king5.com/topstories/stories/NW....1ce74f6fd.html

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They didn't give a new arena to the previous owner.

 

They didn't give a new arena to Clay Bennett.

 

They won't give a new arena to a new ownership group.

 

He negotiated in good faith, and was honest from the start: a new arena agreement in a year, or he takes the Sonics away. All that matters now is whether or not he gets to leave early.

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I wonder what the mood about the league's position on this is.

 

I noticed the Portland Trailblazers, Comcast, the University of Oregon and the Vancouver Canucks have teamed up to form Comcast SportsNet Northwest in Oregon and Southern Washington. If the Sonics left, that would free up the Blazers to expand further north in their territorial grabs. I guess the only winners in this debacle in Seattle would be the NHL and Comcast due to their TV deal.

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bennett has done nothing in good faith - he has put zero effort into finding a reasonable solution - he's wanted to move the team from the start

 

find a team that isn't performing with an ownership group that wasn't good and is looking to get out - older building with a lease coming up - recently renovated with a public that doesn't want to throw even more money into it, especially for a non-local owner

 

too bad paul allen already owns the blazers.............

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That's a rather large stepdown in market size. Makes absolutely no sense. The Sonics just need to get better on the court.

 

 

 

market size doesnt matter nearly as much in basketball as a sport like baseball.

 

 

Oklahoma City proved they are worthy of being the home for an NBA franchise.

 

 

Its really all Seattle's fault.

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how has OKC proved to be a better basketball city than seattle!?!? - because they showed up for some games as a novelty?!

 

seattle has had the sonics over 40 years and has traditionally been very supportive - even reworking their stadium in the 90s and working to provide them that stadium as a home in the first place (keeping in mind the team has played anywhere from the kingdome to tacoma.......)

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how has OKC proved to be a better basketball city than seattle!?!? - because they showed up for some games as a novelty?!

OKC averaged around 18,000 a game hosting 36 Hornets games in 05-06 and 35 Hornets games in 06-07.

Maintaining a near-sellout for two years of an almost-full schedule is hardly "some games as a novelty". In fact, they far outstripped even the Hornets' best season in New Orleans. The only reason the Hornets didn't stay in OKC is because the NBA did not want to abandon New Orleans at a time of weakness.

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and NO is a good market?!

 

do it for a decade then talk about how good of a market they are

 

how does OKC do for their other professional sports teams?!

 

what kind of TV money are they going to bring in - it's a fairly narrow market for them and i'm sure advertisers/merchandisers are going to line up for OKC

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and NO is a good market?!

 

do it for a decade then talk about how good of a market they are

 

how does OKC do for their other professional sports teams?!

 

what kind of TV money are they going to bring in - it's a fairly narrow market for them and i'm sure advertisers/merchandisers are going to line up for OKC

Oklahoma City, the city itself, is actually 2.5 times the size of Orlando. Also, they will have the rest of Oklahoma (including Tulsa, which is pretty big itself), and all of Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.

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Memphis will have some play in Arkansas - it's only a couple hours from little rock

 

Kansas & Missouri could also have as much ties to denver & chicago (which is a lot closer to St. Louis) - although OKC is a lot closer to KC than either city (although not particularly close....)

 

anyone know whose TV territory that is right now?

 

not that any of it matters as this team is going nowhere for at least a couple more years

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Why would anyone in Seattle go to games now the rest of the year?

 

 

especially since they didn't retain the two most known guys on the team............ at least that is what people say

 

they also do not want to support bennett

 

however, people will go to see some of the young guys, to support the team (not their fault) and to support basketball in seattle - it's not like skipping the games is going to hurt bennett at all

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Oklahoma City is actually not a challenging TV market because Cox is the dominant cable provider in Oklahoma. When the Hornets, who have their deal with Cox Sports Television in Louisiana, came to Oklahoma all that had to be done was to carry the feed on the Oklahoma cable systems (Channel 7 in OKC, Channel 3 in Tulsa according to the Hornets).

 

Currently, Oklahomans can watch the Dallas Mavericks via FSN Southwest or TXA21's affiliates. For baseball, Oklahoma gets to see the Astros and Rangers on FSN Southwest/Cox Cable Oklahoma, Cardinals on FSN Midwest/Cox Cable Oklahoma, and the Royals are moving onto FSN Midwest/Cox Cable Oklahoma starting this season.

 

FSN Southwest could also carry games as they do for the Mavericks, Spurs, and Rockets in their designated territories.

 

Kansas City has no NBA team televised regularly, instead FSN Midwest provides St. Louis Blues hockey games.

 

As for the market conflicts, the Hornets were only allowed on TV within Cox's Oklahoma footprint, so Arkansas stayed in the hands of the Grizzlies.

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