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News » Sonics think $10M should buy out Seattle lease 2008-06-13

Sonics think $10M should buy out Seattle lease 2008-06-13

Sonics think $10M should buy out Seattle lease 2008-06-13
SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle has already rejected owner Clay Bennett's $26 million offer to take his SuperSonics to Oklahoma City immediately.

Now the Sonics are trying to make that deal look sweet compared to what could be coming.

Seattle's oldest professional sports franchise, with 41 years in town, is seeking to break the final two years of its lease at KeyArena by paying the city a sum of no more than $10 million - $5.9 million for the 2008-09 season and $4.1 million for 2009-2010 - which the team believes would satisfy the rental agreement with the arena.

That is one of the new key assertions in the trial brief filed for the team's upcoming court battle with the city of Seattle.

The Sonics' brief states they lost $30 million this past season when they were 20-62, their worst-ever record. It also asserts the team's dispute with the city is a garden variety tenant-landlord impasse that should not require "specific performance."

The team arrived at the $10 million figure based on the fixed rental fees, estimates of variables for the percentage of suite and club seat rentals, a 5 percent admission tax and a percentage of the KeyArena naming rights from the past two years, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on it Web site. A "lame-duck" franchise, as the Sonics would be if they stayed, would generate even less revenue, the newspaper reported.

The city, which also filed its brief Wednesday, argues the lease explicitly requires "specific performance" - that is, the Sonics need to play in KeyArena until 2010.


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Added: June 13, 2008


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