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August 13, 2007

Sonics Ownership to Seattle: We Lied. Oops?

Sonics minority owner Aubrey McClendon has been put under a gag order after admitting publicly what pretty much everyone had already figured out : The Oklahoma-based owners have every intention of moving the team outta here and taking them over there.

"But we didn't buy the team to keep it in Seattle. We hoped to come here," he said. "We know it's a little more difficult financially here in Oklahoma City, but we think it's great for the community and if we could break even, we'd be thrilled."

McClendon, the chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, did indicate the group would continue providing Seattle the first opportunity to keep the team by coming up with a plan for a new arena. When the Oklahoma-based conglomeration bought the team a year ago, Bennett set an Oct. 31 deadline for a new facility agreement to be in place. Otherwise, he said he'd file for relocation with the NBA.

"They've got 60 days to make some decisions they haven't been willing to make in the past year," McClendon said, "and if they make them in a way that satisfies Clay, then the team will stay there. If they don't meet the requirements he's laid out, the team will move, and Clay has indicated they'll come to Oklahoma City."

Well, at least we know that whatever we do, it had darn well better satisfy Clay Bennett! Obviously, it's most important to cow-tow to some gang of Johnny-come-latelys that, apparently, doesn't have a clue when it comes to the history of our region forking over millions millions millions in taxpayer money to fund *new and improved* stadiums for sports teams. At least they deserve credit for getting a little further with their snow-job on this city after Howard Schultz couldn't extract even a trace amount of trust out of us. Now that the cat's out of the bag, will Senator Margarita Prentice be buying a home in OKC? And just for laughs, who, if anyone, is really surprised by this attempt at a con job by Bennett and his cast of clowns? Show of hands? C'mon now, there's gotta be someone.

There is an upside to this. Bennett and his boys will have to pay quite handsomely for breaking the existing lease three years early.

Thinking aloud: I wonder if they'll be serving Starbucks at the new OKC arena...

Posted by shoephone on August 13, 2007 at 01:03 AM in Washington Culture | Permalink

Comments

"Thinking aloud: I wonder if they'll be serving Starbucks at the new OKC arena..."

Better question -- will they be serving Tully's?

$tarbuck$ hasn't meant "Seattle" for quite some time.

Posted by: Neal Traven | Aug 13, 2007 9:54:33 AM

Thinking aloud - who needs these overpaid, useless whiners? I'm not just talking about the players, either. I was ready to let the Mariners leave town rather than finance their stadium publicly, and I like baseball a whole lot more than basketball. If the Sonics want a new arena let them pay for it themselves, either here or in Oklahoma.

These are just games, for crying out loud. They're fun to watch, but they're hardly life or death issues. Why can't we plow this sort of money into improving transportation, building more recreational facilities we can all use, or paying civic employees better?

Posted by: Cujo359 | Aug 13, 2007 1:12:34 PM

Cujo - because that would be far too responsible and realistic about our region's needs.

Posted by: shoephone | Aug 13, 2007 3:27:08 PM

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