Those Seattle Supersonics may be returning to the NBA afterall.
According to The Seattle Times, the Seattle City Council and Chris Hansen, the main investor in the new arena, both agreed upon changes to the original understanding that would address public transportation issues in the vicinity of the new arena. This was the one last hurdle to having a new basketball and hockey arena built in Seattle.
This should also make Seattle an extremely attractive candidate for a future NHL relocation.
The Seattle SuperSonics moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008 where they were re-named the Thunder and suddenly became a championship-calibre team. The Sonics had played over forty seasons in Seattle, including winning an NBA Championship in 1978-79 as well as several appearances in the NBA Finals. The move to OKC was due to owner Clay Bennett’s disagreement with a lack of support from city council over a new arena for the Sonics.
“Sonics fans have a reason to smile today!” – Seattle mayor Mike McGinn
The NBA stipulated at the time of the relocation that the Sonics name and colours would remain in Seattle to await a new team one day returning to the city, the Sonics franchise history (including their World Title) was carried over to Oklahoma City so this wouldn’t be a Cleveland Browns situation should a team return… maybe more like a Winnipeg Jets or Washington Nationals.
The mayor of Seattle is expected to make an announcement about the approval of this new arena later today.