Sonics owner says he’ll ask NBA to let him move team

  • Associated Press
  • Friday, November 2, 2007 11:53am
  • Sports

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 Sonics 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when he took ownership — for having a plan for a new arena to replace KeyArena, which Bennett says is unacceptable and outdated.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.

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