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Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - Page updated at 12:54 PM

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The three KeyArena deals Sonics owners rejected

Seattle Times staff reporter

The decision by Sonics owners to sell the team came despite three specific offers for a possible KeyArena deal put forward by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels in recent negotiations.

• The priciest option would have delivered a $198 million KeyArena expansion sought by the team, but would have required team owners to come up with $49 million of that, according to an outline of the options provided by the mayor's office.

• The second option was a $149 million expansion with an owner contribution of $37 million.

Both those options would have required a public vote, according to Nickels spokesman Marty McOmber. They also would have required approval from the Legislature to tap hotel and car rental taxes.

• The third option would not have cost the Sonics owners anything. It would have provided a $50 million KeyArena renovation without a public vote. That option would have relied on "existing revenue streams" and not new taxes, said McOmber.

The mayor's office had been waiting for team owners to accept or reject the offers.

"They never did respond to us on those three offers," said Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis. "It was pretty clear at that point they were looking at different options."

The options would have given the Sonics $8 million to $20 million a year in additional revenue, according to the city. The team would have been allowed to keep all revenue from luxury suites and concessions -- money that is currently split with the city.

A call to a Sonics spokeswoman was not immediately returned today.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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