FanPost

Le Sonics, and a poll

Two things happened yesterday that make the future prospects of (this incarnation, at least) of the Seattle SuperSonics remaining in Seattle look dim.

First, this David Stern interview.

Second, voters in Oklahoma City approved a $121 million tax increase to renovate the Ford Center.  (Note that a similar package to renovate the Key didn't seem acceptable to Clay Bennett; he wanted a new arena or nuttin').

Barring a change of heart by all parties involved, only two things stand between the Sonics moving to OK City.

  • A vote on the proposed relocation by the Board of Governers in April.  While Save Our Sonics will put on a nice presentation--this vote is little more than a formality--the BoG is not going to block a move that the commish wholeheartedly endorses.  Book it.
  • The lawsuit concerning the Sonics' lease.  This can only delay the team's departure until 2010, when the lease expires; it cannot prevent it.
  • So, the poll question:  What will happen to the Sonics?
  • They'll be in the Ford Center next year.  For this to occur, there probably will need to be a settlement of the lawsuit within the next two months or so--as the NBA schedule for next year needs drawing up by this summer.  Note that if the lawsuit goes to trial, it will probably be too late for the Sonics to play in OK City next year, even if the team wins.
  • The team stays in Seattle one more season; moves for the 09-10 season.  Would occur if a settlement comes later in the game, or if the Sonics win the lawsuit.  (I don't expect the Sonics to win--a lease is a lease, and the City of Seattle hasn't breached it AFAIK).
  • The team stays in Seattle two more seasons, moves when the lease expires.
  • Three other poll choices:
  • The team moves to OK city, but 2011 or later.  I don't see this happening; Bennett wants to move the team ASAP and there is nothing holding them to Seattle past 2010.
  • The team remains in Seattle for the forseeable future.  For this to occur, unusual things would have to happen--a negative vote by the Board of Governors, a successful condemnation of the team by the city of Seattle, and/or some legistlation run through Congress and signed by President Clintobama restricting franchise moves, or a big settlement.
  • The team goes somewhere else.  Given the recent vote in OK City, the Sooner State is first in line for any relocating NBA franchises, so I think this is unlikely.
  • My specific thoughts of what will occur will be in the comments.
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