PDA

View Full Version : How do you want the Simon's to vote on the Sonic's to OKlahoma City relocation?



Will Galen
04-14-2008, 03:20 PM
What do you think?

Stern: Bennett made 'good faith' effort to keep Sonics in Seattle

Associated Press


<!-- promo plug -->
<!-- end promo plug -->
<!-- end story header --><!-- begin left column --> <!-- begin page tools --> Updated: April 14, 2008, 2:34 PM


<!-- end page tools --><!-- begin story body --> <!-- template inline -->OKLAHOMA CITY -- Despite the release of e-mails that SuperSonics (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=sea) owner Clay Bennett exchanged last year with partners about moving the team to Oklahoma City, NBA commissioner David Stern says he is convinced Bennett made a good-faith effort to keep the team in Seattle.
<!-- start sidebar table -->


<!-- end sidebar table -->Bennett and ownership partners Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward exchanged e-mails in April 2007 in which they discussed whether there was any way to avoid further "lame duck" seasons in Seattle before the team could be relocated.


Bennett, who had promised to negotiate with Seattle for a full year before deciding whether to move the Sonics, responded: "I am a man possessed! Will do everything we can. Thanks for hanging with me boys."


"I haven't studied them but my sense of it was that Clay, as the managing partner and the driving force of the group, was operating in good faith under the agreement that had been made with [previous owner] Howard Schultz," Stern said on a conference call Monday. "His straight and narrow path may not have been shared by all of his partners in their views, but Clay was the one that was making policy for the partnership."


Stern fined McClendon $250,000 last August after he told an Oklahoma City newspaper that "we didn't buy the team to keep it in Seattle; we hoped to come here." The e-mails released last week as part of the city of Seattle's efforts to enforce the SuperSonics' lease at KeyArena shed further light on the ownership group's thought process prior to Bennett's self-enforced Oct. 31 deadline to determine the team's eventual home.


After purchasing the team from Schultz in July 2006, Bennett promised to spend one full year after the purchase was approved to seek a viable home for the Sonics in Seattle. The NBA approved the sale of the Sonics in October 2006.


Stern repeatedly has said that Seattle's KeyArena is not a suitable home for the Sonics, and rejected a recent attempt led by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to renovate the arena to keep the team in Seattle. That effort subsequently fell apart when it wasn't backed by the city or the state legislature.


Stern said it's too late at this point to seek other owners who would keep the Sonics in the city where they've played the past 41 years.


"I think it's fair to say that extraordinary efforts were made to seek ownership interests when Howard sold the team, including from people who became involved in the effort -- the recently unsuccessful effort -- to get the state to extend the sales tax for the purposes of retiring the arena debt," Stern said.


"It happened already. There was no one who was interested in buying the team, including the very people who stepped forward at the last minute."
NBA owners will vote Friday on Bennett's proposed relocation to Oklahoma City. A subcommittee of three owners visited Oklahoma City last month and recommended league approval.


During that visit, Stern suggested that Oklahoma City -- when combined with the presence of Tulsa less than 100 miles away -- could be a viable market even though Seattle has a higher population and television audience. On Monday, he downplayed Seattle's role as an entry into Asia.
"I would say that we don't ever like to leave a city," Stern said. "We don't like to leave a city as robust as Seattle, but the Asian cities that we're tending to focus more on have names like Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong and Guangzhou.


"It's disheartening simply to leave the city, as it would be to leave any city."


A June trial is scheduled concerning the city of Seattle's lawsuit to enforce the lease and keep the team at KeyArena through 2010.

idioteque
04-14-2008, 03:28 PM
The unfortunate reality in sports today revolves around socialized stadium building. Seattle doesn't strike me as a strong haven for sports, and definately doesn't seem like a city that can support MLB, NBA, and NFL. Yes, I know it is a very large city, but it seems to me to be made up of latte sipping type people who would rather have their tax dollars spent on something other than an NBA stadium. I'm not saying that's wrong, that's their own prerogative.

The people of OKC went out and supported a mediocre Hornets team very well a couple of years ago, and from what I've read despite the city's crappy reputation to people like me the players enjoyed it there relatively well. Rather than playing second fiddle to the Seahawks, the Sonics would be the #1 ticket in town and I think the fans would appreciate them more than Seattle fans do.

So I tend to fall on the side of supporting the move to OKC.

BillS
04-14-2008, 04:12 PM
I'm agin' it because the flying fickle finger of fate points to Indy next.

grace
04-14-2008, 04:15 PM
Call me fickle but wouldn't most owners vote to let them move just in case some time down the road when they can't get an arena deal they want they can move too?

duke dynamite
04-14-2008, 04:24 PM
I'm agin' it because the flying fickle finger of fate points to Indy next.
Well, the main reason why most of these teams have moved is because that the citites that they are located in are such small markets or they cannot get legislature to pass for a new stadium/arena.

I don't think that the Pacers will leave any time soon...

NuffSaid
04-14-2008, 04:39 PM
Doesn't matter to me whether they remain in Seattle or move to OKC...just as long as they stay in the Western Conference. :D

pacerDU
04-14-2008, 04:57 PM
The unfortunate reality in sports today revolves around socialized stadium building. Seattle doesn't strike me as a strong haven for sports, and definately doesn't seem like a city that can support MLB, NBA, and NFL. Yes, I know it is a very large city, but it seems to me to be made up of latte sipping type people who would rather have their tax dollars spent on something other than an NBA stadium. I'm not saying that's wrong, that's their own prerogative.

The people of OKC went out and supported a mediocre Hornets team very well a couple of years ago, and from what I've read despite the city's crappy reputation to people like me the players enjoyed it there relatively well. Rather than playing second fiddle to the Seahawks, the Sonics would be the #1 ticket in town and I think the fans would appreciate them more than Seattle fans do.

So I tend to fall on the side of supporting the move to OKC.


I think Seattle is very much capable of supporting 3 major sports. I live in Vancouver, BC so am only a 2-3 hour drive away from Seattle. I've been to numerous Sonics games this year (including last night's win over Dallas) and the fan support has been superb.

Keep in mind that this Sonics team is pretty much certain to leave, if not this year, then next. The attendance is still very good (from what I've seen) and the crowd still gets into the games. This says a lot when they know that this team will be gone soon.

What wasn't mentioned in the article along with the reference to interest in Asia for having a team in Seattle is that this exposure also trickles up to Canada. The only people who will care about the team in Oklahoma City are the people of Oklahoma City.

The reference has been made to the great attendances they had when the Hornets played there. That could simply be attributable to it being something they don't normally have. It was a novelty. They could have good crowds in OKC, but merchandising sales will be way down in comparison to what it would be with the team being in Seattle.

When it comes down to it, Clay Bennett has the right to move the team if he wants to - it's his team, but I think he's lacked a lot of morals and will be losing a great fan-base in Seattle. I think it's a bad move for him both morally and financially.

Roaming Gnome
04-14-2008, 05:24 PM
I voted yes considering that there was time and a chance for someone local to Seattle to step up and buy the franchise before Clay Bennett. Don't get me wrong... I still have a hard time believing Stern when he says that "Key Arena is not a suitable home for the Sonics", considering it was rebuilt in '95.

But at the end of the day in major league professional sports, you have to pay to play! Just like Indianapolis is "pony-ing" up for the Colts, Seattle probably needed to do the same for the Sonics if they were serious about keeping them around. I know that subsidizing millionairs sucks and spending that kind of money on sports sucks... But, the bottom line is, if you don't...Another city will be very glad to do so!! That referndum in OKC during the last election that would make improvements at the Ford Center and build an NBA practice facility passed in a land slide.

ABADays
04-14-2008, 05:45 PM
I would say they will back this move if for no other reason than what Grace gave. Seattle could certainly be worthy of keeping the team and I think OKC is also worthy. What they did for the Hornets is one for the ages. Can you imagine what it would have been like if the Hornets were to have played in Oklahoma City this year. I'm happy for those fans just as I am sad for the fans of Seattle.

Alabama-Redneck
04-14-2008, 05:48 PM
I voted yes. I lived in OKC for 15 years (1983-1998) and it is an avid sports town without a team.

They have Oklahoma and Oklahoma State nearby but that is it.

They will be able to pull from Tulsa and southern Kansas.

They have rebuilt the downtown area including a riverwalk and lots of resturants.

I think it is a good move.

:cool:

AesopRockOn
04-14-2008, 06:06 PM
Why can't they just wait until the contract's up? It's just a year.

JayRedd
04-14-2008, 06:11 PM
Why can't they just wait until the contract's up? It's just a year.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/attendance

It'll probably be half that next year.

Trader Joe
04-14-2008, 06:18 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/attendance

It'll probably be half that next year.

And coming in dead last yooooouuuuuuurrrrrrrrr INDIANA PACERS!!!!!!!!!!

Kegboy
04-14-2008, 06:43 PM
It's nice to see Philly made such an upswing. At one point they had a lower percentage than us.

duke dynamite
04-14-2008, 06:46 PM
Tear in my eye...

Swingman
04-14-2008, 07:01 PM
Owners/players should be paying for their own stadiums. Who gets the revenue generated by the stadiums? Definitely not the taxpayers.

Roaming Gnome
04-14-2008, 07:16 PM
Owners/players should be paying for their own stadiums. Who gets the revenue generated by the stadiums? Definitely not the taxpayers.

Should be, but will NEVER ever happen. I should never say never, or ever...but that is one gurantee in life.

aero
04-14-2008, 09:30 PM
I dont like seeing teams move. id rather see a new franchise all together

Sollozzo
04-14-2008, 09:34 PM
I don't think those of us who are also Colts fans have much room to speak against this. After all, this is how we got our beloved NFL team.

I respect the business angle of the NBA and realize that it's about the bottom line. If you don't pay for a stadium then there will always be another city that will. We know that all too well here as we have built two in the past decade.

Young
04-14-2008, 10:09 PM
I hope they vote against it.

Key Arena is not very old. I have a hard time believing it is really in that bad of shape.

Saying that Clay and his ****ing little group made a good faith effort is bull ****. The one came out and said that they didn't buy it to keep it in Seattle.

I'm glad that Mark Cuban has came out and said he would vote against it. I would hope others will too but I somehow doubt it.

RamBo_Lamar
04-14-2008, 10:32 PM
Had to vote no. Too much tradition in Seattle for them to just up and
leave like that.

Can remember back in the late 70's as a teen, Seattle being probably my
favorite Western Conference team to watch at the time, due largely to
a point guard they had named Gus Williams. His all-out hustle and ability
to penetrate the lane against the big guys was nothing short of amazing.

I hope the Sonics stay home in Seattle where they belong.

Shade
04-14-2008, 10:35 PM
Bennett's a snake.

I feel bad for Seattle fans.

Kaufman
04-14-2008, 10:40 PM
Bennett's a snake.

I feel bad for Seattle fans.


Ditto.

The Colts - love em, but I don't think that what Robert Irsay did was right.

Kaufman
04-14-2008, 10:41 PM
Owners/players should be paying for their own stadiums. Who gets the revenue generated by the stadiums? Definitely not the taxpayers.

On the surface this looks to be the case but I don't know that it is this simple. The Pacers create a LOT of revenue for the city.

Kegboy
04-14-2008, 10:45 PM
I think Adam's right. Any Colts fans need to take a long hard look in the mirror before they complain too loudly. Of course, I don't think Seattle fans had abandoned the team as completely as Baltimore fans had.

Regardless of where the new owners are from, this has been coming since the day Schultz decided to sell. When he couldn't get a new stadium, it was over for Seattle.

Young
04-14-2008, 10:49 PM
I think Adam's right. Any Colts fans need to take a long hard look in the mirror before they complain too loudly. Of course, I don't think Seattle fans had abandoned the team as completely as Baltimore fans had.

Just because people love the Colts doesn't mean they feel that it was right for them to leave Baltimore.

Roaming Gnome
04-14-2008, 11:00 PM
Bennett's a snake.

I feel bad for Seattle fans.

No, Bennett is an Oklahoma City businessman. I believe Howard Schultz offered the Sonics to a local buyer first thing before he sold to Carl Bennett. with as many millionaires per capita in Seattle there has to be something in that whole Key Arena deal that stinks where no one in Seattle wanted to touch it. Either the lease is set up to where the team isn't going to make the owner money, the arena is not conducive to making the owner money, and/or the fan base is not conducive to making the owner money. I can rule out the fan base pretty easily, so it has something to do with the arena. It seats 17,085 (16,530 @ MSA), but it only has one layer of suites and nothing to generate parking revenue because the arena doesn't have a lot or garage of its own.

I also feel bad for the Seattle fans, but it sounds like enough people in Seattle are fine with letting the Sonics go because in the end.... They know what the price is to keep them there, and they are balking at the price when they are in no position to negotiate.

Roaming Gnome
04-14-2008, 11:05 PM
One thing that is over looked in the Colts leaving Baltimore was the petition for "emminent domain" that was sitting on the Gov. of Marylands desk.

If that piece of legislation would have been signed, to Colts would have been property of the state of Maryland, and it would have taken a lengthy lawsuit to break the order for eminent domain.

That also sheds light on WHY the Colts left in the middle of the night.

Kegboy
04-14-2008, 11:12 PM
One thing that is over looked in the Colts leaving Baltimore was the petition for "emminent domain" that was sitting on the Gov. of Marylands desk.

If that piece of legislation would have been signed, to Colts would have been property of the state of Maryland, and it would have taken a lengthy lawsuit to break the order for eminent domain.

That also sheds light on WHY the Colts left in the middle of the night.

Man, can you imagine if somebody tried to do that with an NBA team? Stern would bring the wrath of god down on them.

Sollozzo
04-14-2008, 11:15 PM
Just because people love the Colts doesn't mean they feel that it was right for them to leave Baltimore.


True, but how many people in Indy really cared about how Baltimore was feeling? I think most were thinking how great it was to have an NFL team.

If you're the city in which the team is moving to then it's great. If you're on the other end then it doesn't feel so good.

I prepared myself for the possibility of the Colts leaving 5 or so years ago and I told myself that I wouldn't be bitter if they did. Why should they have played here in the old Dome if another city would have built them a palace? This is a business after all. Same case for the Pacers 13 or so years ago, why stay in the economically unfeasible MSA if another city will build you a brand new arena with corporate boxes?

Thankfully Indy made the decision that the benefits outweighed the costs.

Roaming Gnome
04-14-2008, 11:29 PM
Funny thing about Baltimore... They still hold a grudge against us, but think nothing about their own team. Was it a Monday Night Football game we played this year where they were telling us that Baltimore refuses to put our team name up on the scoreboard and just puts up Indy or visitors?

Hell, at least when Baltimore left, their fans were not supporting them. The same can't be said about the Browns when they were carpet bagged away from Cleveland.

Sollozzo
04-14-2008, 11:30 PM
Funny thing about Baltimore... They still hold a grudge against us, but think nothing about their own team.

Hell, at least when Baltimore left, their fans were not supporting them. The same can't be said about the Browns when they were carpet bagged away from Cleveland.


True, Baltimore played victim but the fact was they didn't support the team for the last couple of years that they were there.

The team played 31 years and Baltimore, and this year will be it's 25th in Indy. So it won't be too awful long that they will have been in Indy longer than Baltimore.

Kegboy
04-14-2008, 11:35 PM
Funny thing about Baltimore... They still hold a grudge against us, but think nothing about their own team.

Hell, at least when Baltimore left, their fans were not supporting them. The same can't be said about the Browns when they were carpet bagged away from Cleveland.

Right there with you.

I will give them credit for not taking the name (even though that might have been the NFL's doing.) I'd be just fine with it if we'd taken a different name (though I'd hope we'd have come up with something better than Ravens.) Too bad that didn't catch on sooner, we wouldn't have the LA Lakers and the Utah Jazz.

Kegboy
04-14-2008, 11:37 PM
True, Baltimore played victim but the fact was they didn't support the team for the last couple of years that they were there.

The team played 31 years and Baltimore, and this year will be it's 25th in Indy. So it won't be too awful long that they will have been in Indy longer than Baltimore.

I remember some announcer saying that some football players don't even get the whole Baltimore thing, because it's literally been the Indianapolis Colts their whole lives.

Roaming Gnome
04-14-2008, 11:39 PM
Right there with you.

I will give them credit for not taking the name (even though that might have been the NFL's doing.) I'd be just fine with it if we'd taken a different name (though I'd hope we'd have come up with something better than Ravens.) Too bad that didn't catch on sooner, we wouldn't have the LA Lakers and the Utah Jazz.

There was no way that Robert Irsay was going to give up on the Colts namesake. From what I understood, that was a moniker he would have never given up. As for Art Moddel leaving the name to Cleveland...I do remember him saying that he did owe the city of Cleveland that much, and the NFL was happy for that.

JayRedd
04-15-2008, 12:06 AM
There was no way that Robert Irsay was going to give up on the Colts namesake. From what I understood, that was a moniker he would have never given up. As for Art Moddel leaving the name to Cleveland...I do remember him saying that he did owe the city of Cleveland that much, and the NFL was happy for that.

Meanwhile...The Utah Jazz.

pacerDU
04-15-2008, 02:19 PM
Interesting development:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3347564&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines

In brief, it appears Howard Schultz (the previous owner of the Sonics) is going to sue Bennett's group to return the Sonics to him. His attorney claims the Bennett group "breached a condition of the sale to make a "good-faith effort" to keep the Sonics in Seattle.

Go Schultz!

Kegboy
04-15-2008, 02:29 PM
I would think showing they've made an effort will be good enough for the courts. However, I want to see Schultz get up in court and swear under oath he felt that selling the team to Oklahoma City businessmen wouldn't result in the team being moved to Oklahoma City.

Naptown_Seth
04-15-2008, 02:58 PM
Interesting development:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3347564&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines

In brief, it appears Howard Schultz (the previous owner of the Sonics) is going to sue Bennett's group to return the Sonics to him. His attorney claims the Bennett group "breached a condition of the sale to make a "good-faith effort" to keep the Sonics in Seattle.

Go Schultz!
What? Really? I thought at the time it was freaking obvious to all how this was going down and Schultz was criticized even then. I don't actually recall him making a serious effort to first sell the team locally either.

He got into this "I have money to play with" investiment and quickly got a sour stomach for the actual biz situation. Certainly the Sonics aren't some flop in Seattle and eventually even the arena situation could be resolved. To me it's all been about "waa, I want even more money".

This has never been Seattle turning their back on the Sonics, as the 1995 spending supports.


Anyway, how is this not just Schultz pulling a PR spin. He's getting drug right down with all of this mess because locals know it started with him.