Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The Sonics have played in Seattle since the 1967-68 season. After 10 home games this season, they rank 22nd among the league's 30 teams with a 16,187 average and now they could be could be the next NBA franchise to relocate when their lease expires in 2010, if the Washington state legislature votes declines to fund the construction of new arena or renovate KeyArena. Despite renovations 10 years ago, KeyArena is the smallest arena in the league with a seating capacity of 17,072. Whether they get a new arena or renovated KeyArena, the Sonics want increased revenue and a lease that keeps them from having to pay construction debt. The franchise wants both issues resolved before they agree to a long-term deal to stay in Seattle. At this moment of time they don’t seem to let the go issue like an ordinary stance. This time they want a commitment for funding to be made in 2006, because they said it takes four to seven years for the necessary planning and construction to be completed. The franchise has already lost $58 million since 2001. Not only this if the Sonics personnel sell out all 41 home dates, including all 58 suites purchased at KeyArena this season, they still would lose money under their current business model. Everybody thinks in terms of 2010 as being a long way out and the problem can be if not forgotten can be procrastinated.

Seattle's other two professional sports franchises, the Mariners and Seahawks, are both housed in venues that were built since 1999. The funds for the construction of their venues were raised from primarily via a tax on hotel rooms and rental cars. The Sonics' proposal to the state legislature for $200 million for KeyArena expansion was denied last year.


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