Tuesday, July 18

The Bomb has dropped

The Sonics are heading to Oklahoma. Sonics fan suicide watch starts . . . now:
SEATTLE - The city's oldest major league franchise has been sold to a group from Oklahoma City, according to a report in the Seattle Times quoting multiple sources.

The sale is reportedly being made to an investor group led by Oklahoma businessman Clay Bennett. Bennet was instrumental in the temporary relocation of the Hornets to Oklahoma City following Hurricane Katrina. But the Hornets are scheduled to return to New Orleans following the 2006-07 season.

A news conference to announce the sale of the Seattle Supersoncis has been scheduled for 3 p.m.

from KING 5
Thanks to Susan for the tip. I think I need several drinks and maybe some drugs. Anyone else?

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damnit, and I just getting psyched for next season with the pre-camps and season ticket reseating this week. Ugh.

Matt said...

Do we get to keep the Sonics name in case we get another team one day or will it be the Oklahoma City Sonics?

Well I am glad the City stuck to its guns on The Key.

Worst of all we are losing the STORM:<

Anonymous said...

BOYCOTT STARBUCKS!!!

let schultz lose more money...haha

Paul Merrill said...

I believe the Storm is owned by the Ackerley's.

kdoublec said...

kill me.

Paul Merrill said...

I lied . . . the Storm was part of the deal. Sorry, I'm really drunk right now.

nuss said...

According to the ESPN/AP story, the Sonics will be staying in Seattle ... for now at least.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2522944

And kudos to SonicsCentral for breaking the story that George Shinn and the Hornets have applied to the league to move to OK City permanently, meaning the Sonics would have to stay in Seattle ... or move to New Orleans.

In other words, everything is up in the air.

b_con said...

Come to the Furtado Center and do a little old fashioned heck raising outside it today!

I'll be there! I think a few more will too! COME ONNN!!!!! This is a once in a lifetime moment, and I want to make sure that I was there, showing my love for my team!

Nuss said...

Also, if the Sonics get sold, does that mean Wally Walker would lose his job?

Mother-in-law over the cliff in your new Acura kind of question: Is Wally Walker getting fired worth the Sonics moving to Oklahoma?

Nuss said...

According to the Daily Oklahoman, the guy buying the Sonics is a "die-hard" Oklahoman (is there any other kind?), meaning - in their opinion - that this is a done deal and the Sonics will eventually wind up in OKC.

Speaking as someone who lived in Vancouver during the Grizzlies Era, remember that until the team moves, don't believe anything. Prior to Michael Heisley buying the team, the Grizzlies were sold to Bill Laurie, the husband of a Wal-Mart heiress. The Lauries were determined to move the Grizzlies to St. Louis, but David Stern wouldn't let it happen and the sale never went through. Eventually, the Grizzlies moved anyways, but the point is that nothing is official until it actually happens.

Rich King said...

Interesting that the city proposed three solutions for Key Arena renovations and the owners rejected all of them.

Guess I'll be a Portland fan. kill me

My liver is going to suffer greatly this evening.

Anonymous said...

I knew we were in trouble when they moved radio broadcasts to "The Truth" right wing nutcase radio.

We need to see how much this city wants the Sonics.
Bring the mother f-in rucus this season!

Oklahoma can take my team from my cold dead smelly hands!

F Shultz!

nuss said...

I'm listening to the Storm game on KJR, and it's interesting to hear Locke comment on it. I get the feeling he really wants to say more, but he's hamstrung by his employer.

(And, yes, this is the first time I've ever listened to a Storm game).

Mark said...

I'm in shock. Well, we'll see if the possibility of the Sonics actually leaving sends the league office, the mayor's office, etc scurry around to keep basketball in Seattle. In mean, Oklahoma City -- wtf?!!!!

On a side note, b_con -- you go to Pomona or Pitzer? I'm a Sagehen...

ryan said...

WTF!?!?!

I go to lunch, come back, and the Sonics are moving to Okalahoma? I'm afraid to have dinner tonight, or I'll turn on the news and find out that Jacksonville has bought the Space Needle.

Amar said...

When the Browns moved, Cleveland was on a suicide watch, too. But we got our team back eventually and kept our history. If there is no other way out, I suggest you fight for your name, colors, and history. That is, IF you guys are moved. I wish you all the best.

b_con said...

Pomona. I'll be a freshman this fall. GO FIGHTING SAGEHENS! Go to the Furtado Center and yell and wave signs!

ryan said...

FYI - the Sonics still haven't put anything up on their website, whether to say they're moving or not, or even to announce that they're having a press conference.

nuss said...

Here's some math for you:

2000: Sonics/Storm sold to Schultz & Co. by Barry Ackerley for $200 million.

2000-2006: Sonics report losses of $60 million for 2003-06 period, no official comment on losses in other period.

2006: Sonics/Storm sold to an Oklahoma City group for $350 million.

Profit: $150 million
Less Losses: $100 mill (Est.)

Net Profit: $50 million

Oh, Howie, I'll miss you so.

Anonymous said...

Is there a more worthless owner and president than Howard Schultz (and whatever cronnies he has behind him, he's so tight he squeaks) and Wally Walker? Let me get this straight, they'll contribute a small sum to build a new arena because they are losing money, yet they just made $150 million on the sale. What kind of business acumen runs this wayward franchise anyway? Good riddance to the old owners, I hope if they ever set foot in Key Arena again they get booed out of the building. Now, for those of you that are in love with Starbucks, it's the same idiot running that company.

biggie said...

Well, maybe Paul Allen will renovate Key Arena and then bring the Blazers up here, would be nice to have Roy and Webster and Nate back. “Help me Paul Allen, you’re my only hope”

sorry lance.

Nuss said...

I can't imagine ever rooting for the Blazers.

biggie said...

Nuss, they wouldn't be called the Blazers dude. They'd be the Sonics, OK City can't take our name.

Nuss said...

Yes, but they're still the Blazers. Of course, if they were to win a title 2 years after moving, thereby sticking it to Portland, well, I might come around...

ryan said...

The press conference starts in 10 minutes. It will be carried live on KJR-am. You can listen to it on the internet, if you're so inclined.

ryan said...

It'll be really sad if the Sonics leave. Reading this site for the past couple of years has been truly enjoyable, and it's sad to think that the rug will be pulled out from under us.

Tim said...

Maybe this ownership group can get soemthing done quickly. I see them blaming the city for not coming up with a better lease and than moving the team next year. Well, lets make the last year a good one!!

Christopher said...

I'm sure the league would much rather keep the Hornets in OK on a perm basis. It'll be years before a team in NO can make money again.

Christopher said...

Also, I'm not sure how people could not have expected this after picking Sene in the first round.

Lance Uppercut said...

Sorry biggie, but the Blazers lease with the Rose Garden is air-tight for the next 20 years. If Allen does sell, whoever buys won't be able to move the team for a while.

nuss said...

In all honesty, I wouldn't want the Blazers to come to Seattle, and not just because of the rivalry. I'd hate to be a city like Baltimore (Ravens), or Sacramento (Kings), or Memphis (Grizzlies), that bailed out a team that was trying to blackmail a city.

Anonymous said...

Now that the shock is wearing off - somewhat - that press conference was a cold dose of reality. I remember Frank Hughes warning of arena issues, and the legislature and Sonics having issues shortly after the San Antonio series ended in '05, and that there could be some serious trouble on the horizon. He warned of the two biggest threats at the time, Anaheim being #1, and of course, OKC. This was pre-Katrina so no NBA team had been there yet, so who knew it would turn into this?

The saddest part is that for how educated Seattle is, for how much money is in this region, that they couldn't find a local buyer just hurts. 40 years of history and it's going to be moving? And to lose it to a dustbowl city like OKC? Inconceivable!

-Q said...

Dead man walking...

With the sale of the Sonics to out-of-town buyers, and the arena lease essentially a dead duck, we Sonic fans are doomed to walk around this fair city for the next four years looking like the guy on the bus with the Shaq O'Neal Orlando Magic jersey on...

Here is the scenario: The sale of season tix will plummet, fan interest will wane, and management will inevitably begin it's "rebuilding" phase with the thee bigs and anyone we can get back in the trades for Lewis and Allen at the all-start break this year (or next). Then, citing the "lack of community support" they will pick the team up and head out.

You see folks, when the Sonics (or whatever they are called) move to OK (it WILL happen) they will not need to put a high priced product on the court to draw fans, at least for the first few years, so i figure the Supes will dump salary now and move light, reaping in the big revenues of a sold out building without paying through the nose in player salaries. Those owners are going to really rake it in, make no bones about it.

What does that mean for us? No Sonics coverage, no interest, no fans in the seats, but most importantly for us REAL fans... SHITTY basketball for the next few years. When is the last time you saw a championship contender leave a city? Never happens. Its always the bottom feeders, and that's what we are.

Four years of limbo, baby. No wonder they didn't sign Wilcox. Cheap Bastards...

-Q

Lee Hamilton said...

I know it sucks to lose the Sonics and all, and the gut reaction is to be mad at Schultz because he made off like a bandit with an (estimated) $50MM profit. But if you think about it, earning a $50MM profit over 6 years on $200MM of principle is . . . less than 4% (compounded) a year.

In other words, assuming the $50MM figure is correct, this was a pretty miserable investment.

If nothing else, be happy with the thought that it appears Schultz took a financial beating on this. He'd have been better off putting his money into an ING savings account instead of a professional sports franchise.

Tim said...

I for one am pissed off at the local politicians. Nick Licata is enemy number one in my book. How he got away with saying the Sonics add no cultural or financial asset to the city is absurd. He and the city council are just pissed the Sonics didn't invite them to Olympia for the initial request for funding, so they are taking it out on the mayor and the Sonics. These guys need to get over themselves and realize that their actions affect not only the fans, but the image of the city. We now have one more team than Portland. We are now on par with Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh. Hell, Cleveland has more teams than us. CLEVELAND!!! We are losing our team to a city of barley 1 million people. We are the 15th largest market in the US, with over 3 million people in Sea-Tac-Bel area. Just think if the Mariners and Seahawks had left. How would you explain that one of the biggest markets in sports could have potentially lost all of its professional sports franchises in less than 10 years? Its embarrassing to live in Seattle right now. World class city my ass. We are now the city of failed sports teams, WTO and the Mardi Gras riots. The legacy of the current city and state government will be that of losing Boeing and the Sonics. Maybe its fitting that the company and the team that was named after them both left under the current administration.

Homee the Fan said...

Howard Shmutz sold my soul the day he traded Gary away. Love Ray, but it was the principle of it that broke my heart. Since then, I've tried to be a fanatic but it hasn't been the same. The NBA is kind of a joke. If the Sonics leave town, I'll likely not follow the league at all. Do they have bigfoots in OK?

Anonymous said...

nuss, you obviously have never been to oklahoma city. It was a dustbowl in the 30s. It is now a very desirable place to live. Want to really feel sorry for yourself? the 2 grand you just dropped on rent for your craphole just payed my monthly mortgage on a 4,500 square foot castle. Eat me.

Anonymous said...

Over at OKCHornetsCentral.com, the Hornets site for Oklahoma City people, they think the deal is done, and that the Sonics are gone. Shoot me.

hsshoops said...

The bravado of posting Anonymous and defending OKC is the perfect reason for those of us in the Pacific Northwest for not going there. Enjoy your 4,500 ft castle with nothing but flat brown praire outside. Take a hike!

I think q said it best. Dead man walking!

morons talking said...

hsshoops, hows my new name? just as brave as yours huh? not anonymous in the truest sense of that word. better hurry up and get outside. the rain will be back in about 2 weeks. then u can spend all day in ur 3oo square foot craphole....

Vin said...

I feel like someone just ripped my heart out. In the past few weeks I have been seriously contemplating getting season tickets and somewhat seriously getting a tattoo of the logo. Thank god I did neither.

I need a drink.

Brandon said...

What a mess. Schultz is some kind of community leader, isn't he? This is the reality of sports business in this day and age. Even someone who owes a lot of his success to a city can't find it in himself to take one for the team occasionally. See if I say hi to him the next time I see him in Salumi.

I just can't believe that there wasn't a legit local offer by someone, that's very hard to believe. I think Schultz basically told everybody in Seattle to go shove it up their ass by selling to an OKC group. He definitely sent a message.

Anonymous said...

c-dub: "Its embarrassing to live in Seattle right now. World class city my ass. We are now the city of failed sports teams, WTO and the Mardi Gras riots. The legacy of the current city and state government will be that of losing Boeing and the Sonics."

That's just a symptom of the larger problem. I'm embarrassed to live in Seattle because of Greg Nickels, Christine Gregoire, Gary Locke, Jim McDermott, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell - oh, the list goes on and on. You forgot about the legacy of failed transportation projects - a proposed $14 billion for 14 miles of monorail before it was canned; UnSoundTransit; more runways at SeaTac; etc. You forgot about the legacy of corrupt politicians (Ron Sims) and stolen elections - Rossi winning two machine counts and then King County producing just enough votes in the hand recount to put Gregoire in office. We're a laughingstock of a city elsewhere - but we just KNOW we're the most educated city, right? Whatever.

In a real city the community leaders and the business leaders work TOGETHER to achieve the mutual goals of more business, more sales, more foot traffic, yada yada. In Seattle the local politicians believe they were pre-ordained to represent us serfs, and half the populace believes that capitalism and globalisation are things to be feared.

Sure, I'm pissed at that buffoon Schultz - but running a business in this city is like swimming upstream to avoid the waterfall. The Sonics are an establishment here in town, Key Arena and Seattle Center are (or easily could be) jewels, and there's more than enough fans in this market to have a successful team.

They're all idiots.

Lance Uppercut said...

You're not embarassed by a single republican anon? How about Jim West?

biggie said...

Oklahoma city is the armpit of the united states. Desirable place to live my ass. You keep tellin yourself that and you might believe it. I can get a good price on a 4500 sq ft place up here too, it's called a manufactured home, aka redneck palace, but why would I want to? Jackass.

Nuss said...

Couple of points:

1. Hacksaw - yes, Schultz would certainly have made more money investing in the real estate market or the stock market, but unless I'm mistaken, those options don't come with half-court, front-row seats to NBA games, don't come with free tickets to the NBA Finals or All-Star game, and don't come with getting your name/corporation's name plastered all over the sports and news pages of the paper. There are hundreds of marketing opportunities associated with owning a pro sports team, and Schultz took advantage of all of them, I'm sure. The guy knows business, and I cannot believe that a man who charges $3.50 for a cup of coffee that costs him less than 0.25 bought the Sonics solely out of civic-mindedness.

2. As to Oklahoma City being better than Seattle, give me a freakin' break. Look, you stole our team, so there's no need to lie. Seattle was just voted the most livable city in the US by the US Conference of Mayors and Washington rated 20 spots higher than Oklahoma in another "most livable" poll. I mean, get serious.

biggie said...

I'll settle this argument right now. If Oklahoma was such a great place to live, I'D LIVE THERE!! Yeah I was raised here but my wife and I put serious research into where we were going to raise our children. After many, many hours of researching things like schools, proximity to parks, beautiful state parks, crime rates, etc we decided that we were already in the best place. Oklahoma city was ruled out after the schools part of our research, that and the fact that the midwest SUCKS. No one chooses to live there, they were either born there and due to the school systems were never able to leave or have the usual mental hadicap that most midwesterners have and think (for some unexplainable reason) that it's great.

Anonymous said...

Biggie,
You're wrong. The name and everything else goes with the franchise. Everything. The championship, the banners, the jock straps, and roundballs. Everything...

Anonymous said...

Lance Uppercut:

I'm quite certain that I'd be disappointed in Republicans - if any of them could possibly get elected where I live!! I'm on Queen Anne hill in the heart of darkness (McDermott country).

Biggie:

I grew up in the Midwest (suburbs of Chicago), and I have to say you're prejudiced. The schools I went to are far better than any within Seattle proper. FAR better.

Furthermore, I prefer the Midwestern work ethic to Seattle Socialism any day of the week. Are you still paying for your Monorail car tabs even though the Monorail has been canned?? Do you think that people in the Midwest would vote to RAISE their own taxes? Give me a break. Gregoire's emergency bill for the viaduct? Where'd the emergency go? She'd be ridden out on a rail in a state that's not full of idiots.

PEOPLE may choose to live HERE. But BUSINESSES choose to locate THERE. And sooner or later - the people must follow the businesses. Hate to break it to ya. You may love Seattle - but we're regarded from afar as a city of: 1. Rain; 2. Alternative music; and 3. Idiots. True, true, and true.

Sure, living close to a rainforest has its benefits. But when the local politicians want to return Seattle to its natural state as a rainforest - there's a problem. Will the last person out of Seattle please turn out the lights?

ps. His 4500 sq ft home in OK City is probably brick construction. Pre-fab? Pre-judice?

Mighty said...

Hey I'm all the way from Manila and I love the supes since NBA LIVE 95 SNES!!!

2 years ago sonics almost beat the Spurs in the semis....OH RASHARD DIDNT PLAY BTW(he was an all star that year too)

man, i was moving to vancover this year then this???!!!

chris said...

nuss, go back to school and take a geography and history class. The dustbowl ended 70 years ago. And here's a taste of Oklahoma reality... WE HATE TRAILERS!! Too many of us own homes with brick siding and a backyard pool to want a mathcbox.

I always laugh at the narrow-minded mentality of east and west coast residents who constantly believe we have chickens in our yards and a grain silo nearby and still think the dust bowl is occuring. It was just a freakin' drout.

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