Mr. Starbucks Sells Sonics! Boo Hoo

  1. Thanks to Howard Schultz's need for $350 million he just sold our beloved Supersonics to Oklahoma City.
     
  2. what?

    LOL! I need more info. . . I have NO idea!
     
  3. Sonics sold to Oklahoma City
    New ownership group says it will keep team in Seattle

    By ANGELA GALLOWAY AND PHUONG CAT LE
    P-I REPORTERs

    The Seattle Sonics, the city's first major professional sports franchise, will be sold to an ownership group in Oklahoma City for $350 million, the team said today.


    RELATED LINKS
    - Strange Bedfellows Blog: Seattle's final offers to the Sonics
    - Video from the press conference

    The new ownership group said it plans to keep the team in Seattle -- if it can work out a deal for a new arena in the next 12 months. Officials in Seattle said they planned to hold the Sonics to their lease, which expires in 2010.

    The Sonics and the WNBA's Storm are being purchased by the Professional Basketball Club LLC, an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma based investment group led by Clay Bennett, chairman of Dorchester Capital, a private investment company, according to a news release sent out by the current and future ownership groups.

    The current owners of the Sonics and the WNBA's Storm, the Basketball Club of Seattle, have said they've lost millions of dollars in recent years because their venue is too small and outdated and the lease terms are unfavorable.
     
  4. The Mayor let us know that the deal to keep them here is not going to happen in not so many words.....
     
  5. so the word is they're moving to OKC?

    nonetheless, WOW!
     
  6. Well, after watching the news last night and reading peoples reactions they sent in, it seems like we Oklahomans are not too thrilled about this move.

    I think the reason why the Sonics were bought is because the New Orleans Hornets are here and we LOVE them, but I think they're only here for one more season.

    If the Sonics came here, they wouldn't get the same response, at all. I dont think its a good move. We love our Hornets!

    Some people that wrote in last night (on the news) even went as far to say "Give New Orleans the Sonics and let us keep the Hornets"
     
  7. really?
    I'm from OK and I think OK could really use a Major/Pro team of any kind! Maybe they'll put them in Tulsa if OKC doesn't want them! LOL!
     
  8. Wow.....that sucks
     
  9. Today's headlines in Seattle are blaming Mr. Starbucks for everything so if you are a stockholder in Charbucks beware!!
     
  10. This is :censor: :censor: :censor: . Seattle NEEDS pro sports to keep us thriving as a major city!! C'mon, Mr. Starbucks!!!

    [From the King Country journal, more reading]:
    The new owners have set a 12-month deadline to reach a new arena deal with Seattle officials — something the teams' previous owners didn't accomplish in two years. After that, the new owners gain the option to move the team to Oklahoma.

    Until then, Seattle, come support your teams!

    That's the conflicting message Northwest basketball fans took away from Tuesday's announcement that the Basketball Club of Seattle, headed by Starbucks Corp. chairman Howard Schultz, will sell the teams for $350 million to the Professional Basketball Club LLC, headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett.

    "This isn't how we wanted to go out," Schultz said of the decision to sell the city's oldest major league professional sports franchise — which began play in 1967 — to an out-of-towner.

    He said he turned down higher offers from potential buyers that he felt would move the team immediately. Some earlier offers were known to have been from San Jose, Calif., and Kansas City, Mo.

    Bennett is the president of Oklahoma City investment firm Dorchester Capital. He was key to temporarily moving the New Orleans Hornets to his city following Hurricane Katrina. He told a Tuesday afternoon news conference at his new team's training facility that whether the Sonics remain in Seattle beyond 2007 would depend on whether the team can reach an agreement with the city to replace or renovate KeyArena.

    The arena was remodeled in 1994-95 and the Sonics have a lease until 2010 with the city. The team and NBA commissioner David Stern both have said that lease is the league's most unfavorable to a team and must be changed — or better yet, a new place must be built with a new lease — for the teams to remain viable in the region.

    "It is not our intention to move or relocate the teams — as long, of course, as we are able to negotiate a successor venue to the current basketball arena and arrangements to ensure the Sonics and Storm can succeed," Bennett said.

    His crewcut hair and square, jutted jaw conveyed a bottom-line persona.

    So did his words — but only when he was pressed on what would happen if he and his partners, who have no known Washington ties, can't reach an agreement in 12 months with local politicians.

    "If we weren't able to find a successor facility and relative lease by then, we have the option contractually to ... evaluate our position," Bennett said, pausing to choose his final words carefully.

    To many Seattle fans, that already reads: Oklahoma SiloSonics and Oklahoma Dust Storm.

    In February, upon the formation of his investor group in Oklahoma City, Bennett declared: "The bottom line is, we want a team for this market."

    Seattle resident Aaron Morris, 18, stood a few yards away from the Sonics' facility as Bennett spoke. Morris said he attends a few Sonics games a year when he can afford it and watches the games on television.

    He was holding a homemade, cardboard sign that read: "39 years ... out the window??"

    Friend Ben Conway, also 18 and from Seattle, was standing next to him wearing a green, Sonics Shawn Kemp throwback jersey with a white T-shirt pulled over his face and head — he said to represent the gravity of the day.

    Conway's sign: "Don't sell my childhood to OK City."

    A seemingly dejected Schultz said he came to realize he had to sell the team in the last 30 days. But he used the words "in Seattle" at least a dozen times while discussing the team's long-term future under Bennett.

    When asked what he would tell a Seattle kid who loves the Sonics, Schultz said: "I told my children, and children of those I know, that I did this obviously with concern and trepidation. But I believe strongly this new group has a commitment to staying, provided elected officials meet him halfway.

    "I do not believe the team is moving."

    Even Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, speaking from his city, joined the cautious chorus.

    "I think it's presumptuous to assume that Clay Bennett and his ownership group won't own that Seattle team for a long, long time in Seattle or somewhere else. It's presumptuous to assume they're going to move that franchise to Oklahoma City," Cornett said. "I understand that people are going to say that seems to be a likely scenario, but that's just speculation."

    Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels pledged to work with Bennett.

    "We're going to try and work with Mr. Bennett and his group," Nickels said. "I think they're going to see Seattle is a great place to do business. And hopefully their team will do well on the court and the combination of those will allow us to have an extension of the lease beyond 2010.

    "We have been providing very specific offers to the Sonics. We think it's an important part of our community. Those are still on the table."

    And Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a statement, "I am encouraged that the new owners want to stay in the state. I have worked with Mayor Nickels and the City Council and hoped that the teams would stay in Key Arena because I have been concerned about the long-term viability of the Seattle Center."

    Schultz said city and state officials should realize now that the Sonics really may leave Seattle.

    "If the city didn't believe we'd potentially move the team, we obviously have a group now that does have an out," Schultz said. "But that's not what (the new owners) want to do."
     
  11. Ok, I am probably going to be unpopular for saying this, but it's the City of Seattle's fault this is happening. I have never seen a place in my entire LIFE where people spend more time ARGUING about progress than here. Our roads are outdated, we have a stretch of elevated freeway that shifts every time there's an earthquake and we have a crappy public transportation system. The stretch of freeway that is shifting is identical in circa and design to the Cypress Structure in Oakland that fell down in the earthquake in 1989. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE on that road and all the politicians here can do is listen to themselves TALK about the fact that it needs to be fixed and will cost a lot of money. :rolleyes: This is also because people here seem to have a genetic aversion to paying for any public projects, yet they will complain endlessly about the things that suck as a result. :rant:

    The Sonics are being sold because the venue they are playing in is (surprise!) outdated, and all the politicians do is argue and whine about the cost of building a new arena. If you want a world class city with world class sports, you have to pay for it. Schultz is cutting his losses and who can blame him? One thing I can say about those dreaded Californians; when something needs to be done, they bite the bullet and do it. If they need new freeways, they tear things up for a few years, work day and night and then get it rebuilt. People feel the pain for a while but it is better for all in the long run. Same goes for bridges and sports stadiums. They don't sit around arguing to justify their own existence and then whine when they lose out. I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but this is a mindset in this area that drives me insane. :censor:

    /end rant
     
  12. I live in the Seattle area and would rather have my taxes go to pay for better schools and transportation than for a new arena for the multi-millionaires who used to own the Sonics. All of the old owners were wealthy and could easily have built themselves a stadium that they were happy with. All that complaining about all the money they were losing when that happens to pro sports teams all the time and the real money is made when you sell the team.

    I hate to see the basketball team go but my priorities are not spending tax money for pro sports but rather have the money go toward things that are a necessity not a luxury. Peggy