Thursday, July 3, 2008

NBA: Settlement ends NBA's stay in Seattle

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SupersonicsThe NBA have announced that the owners of the Supersonics franchise have reached a settlement with Seattle to move the team to Oklahoma.

Under the terms of the deal, owner Clay Bennett and his backers will pay the city $45million, with Seattle getting to keep the name, logo and team colours.

That means they could still attract another franchise who chooses to relocate in the future, or be the home of a new team.

As well as the first payment, the city will get a further $30m if they do not get another NBA franchise within five years.

"We believe this is a fair and appropriate resolution to the litigation involving the Sonics and the City of Seattle," said Bennett.

"We are pleased that the uncertainty is lifted for our players, staff and Oklahoma City fans who can now make plans for the immediate future.

"We have a business to run and this settlement allows us to make the best decision for the franchise and allow the City of Seattle to begin planning its own NBA future."

The SuperSonics, who have been based in Seattle for the past 30 years, are the first NBA team to relocate since the Hornets left Charlotte for New Orleans six years ago.

Oklahoma, who ironically was the temprorary home for the Hornets after Hurricane Katrina, is the home city of owner Bennett, who purchased the Sonics in 2006 from Starbucks Corp. Chairman Howard Schultz.

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