I'm late getting to this, but Clay Bennett had a press conference scheduled at 11 am today to speak on a number of issues. Whenever I get some info on what happened, I'll pass it along.
And here you go. According to the Times, Clay Bennett has filed for a demand for arbitration in order to void the final two years of his lease for Key Arena. More to come later as I get more info.
At first blush, the easy way to look at this situation is to say that Bennett is attempting to get out of his lease with the City, and is crossing his t's legally by filing for arbitration. Casual fans (such as ourselves) could easily paint this in a negative light as yet another log being tossed onto the bonfire by Bennett.
And, honestly, I can sympathize with that sentiment. But after everything that has happened, this doesn't really change anything. I'm sure the city had to anticipate Bennett wouldn't just go along with their demands for him to honor his lease; not after the way he and his partners have acted since purchasing the team less than twelve months ago.
So, before we get all of our knickers in a twist about today's press conference, just remember that nothing has changed. Bennett and McClendon & Co. still want to move to Oklahoma City, numerous folks are fighting them, and now an arbitrator will decide if the Sonics' ownership is legally obligated to fulfill the terms of the lease, or if they can vacate the premises at the end of the upcoming season.
UPDATE NO. 2: Courtesy of The Seattle Times, here's the demand for arbitration document. It's a PDF file.