Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Local News


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Print

OKC officials inform Schultz they expect Sonics to relocate, no matter who owns team

Oklahoma City officials threatened to sue former Sonics owner Howard Schultz if he reclaims the team and does not move it to the Sooner...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Oklahoma City officials threatened to sue former Sonics owner Howard Schultz if he reclaims the team and does not move it to the Sooner State.

In a nine-page letter sent to Schultz's attorney Thursday, an assistant municipal counselor for Oklahoma City wrote "there is an expectation by City leadership and citizens that the owners of the Team, whomever they may be, will honor all of the Team's contractual obligations with the City including the contractual obligation to relocate to Oklahoma City and to play home games at the Ford Center for the duration of the term of the lease."

Last month Schultz filed a lawsuit on behalf of the team's former ownership group to rescind the July 2006 sale to Oklahoma City-based investors led by Clay Bennett, claiming fraud.

Bennett's group also is being sued by the city of Seattle in a separate lawsuit to force the team to play the next two seasons at KeyArena.

Schultz's attorney, Richard Yarmuth, said the Starbucks chairman will not drop his lawsuit and intends to resell the team to owners who will keep the team in Seattle.

"It [the Oklahoma City letter] doesn't affect his lawsuit in any way," Yarmuth said Friday. "Neither the purpose, the prosecution or the likely outcome."

In his letter, Wiley Williams wrote on behalf of Mayor Mick Cornett and other Oklahoma City officials that they had been preparing for the Sonics long before the NBA Board of Governors approved the team's relocation request on April 18.

After Oklahoma City voters overwhelmingly approved a $120 million tax package to improve the Ford Center and build a new NBA practice facility, city officials reached four agreements with the Sonics, including a 15-year arena lease.

According to the letter, Oklahoma City is prepared to sue if the team doesn't relocate.

"We expect that any subsequent owner or owners would join hands with the city, and its citizens, and honor the OKC NBA agreements, made in good faith, and perform as good corporate neighbors to make NBA basketball a success in Oklahoma City," Williams wrote.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

More Local News headlines...

Print      Share:    Digg     Newsvine

advertising

UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case

NEW - 7:51 AM
Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife

Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife

Longview mill spills bleach into Columbia River

NEW - 8:00 AM
More extensive TSA searches in Sea-Tac Airport rattle some travelers

Advertising

Video

Marketplace

Jaguar to introduce XE sedan; app translates engine soundsnew
(Jaguar) Jaguar to sell XE sedan Jaguar will introduce its XE compact sedan in 2016. It's the first time Jaguar has competed in the largest luxury seg...
Post a comment

Advertising