Oklahoma City passes tax measure aimed at luring Sonics
An Oklahoma City vote on a $120 million sales-tax measure aimed at luring the Sonics to that city has passed by an overwhelming margin. With all precincts reporting, the...
An Oklahoma City vote on a $120 million sales-tax measure aimed at luring the Sonics to that city has passed by an overwhelming margin.
With all precincts reporting, the final unofficial tally was 44,849 (62 percent) in favor and 27,564 (38 percent) opposed, according to the Oklahoma County Election Board.
The measure, funded by a one-cent sales tax extension, will renovate the city's six-year-old Ford Center and build a new NBA practice facility in order to attract the city's first major-league franchise.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett declared victory at a vote-watching party at a restaurant in the city's Bricktown entertainment district.
"We will not let you down. We know we have some work to do and we'll get to it starting first thing tomorrow morning," Cornett said.
Exactly what the vote means for the future of the Sonics is not certain.
The Oklahoma City-based ownership group of the Sonics has petitioned the NBA to relocate the team to their hometown next season. Today's Oklahoma City vote was aimed at the NBA owners meeting in April, at which league owners are expected to vote on whether to approve that request.
But the city of Seattle has sued in an effort to force the team to remain at city-owned KeyArena through the end of the current lease in 2010.
"We remain absolutely committed to hold them to the lease through 2010," said Marty McOmber, a spokesman for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, adding that the mayor still hopes to negotiate a plan to keep the team here for the long run.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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