Why should you care about a potential return of the Sonics? Because the story is more complex than you might imagine. Yes, there is considerable enthusiasm for bringing them back. But their return requires addressing some tough questions. Will your tax dollars go toward subsidizing an NBA-ready arena? Where would an arena go? How would an arena affect the surrounding real estate, jobs, traffic, and other aspects of life in the city? How can the positive effects of an NBA franchise be maximized?
This season of Seattle Growth Podcast will explore these issues so you can be better informed about how a return of the Sonics would affect you and your neighbors. With this knowledge, you can have your voice be heard on the issue while there are decisions being made.
To give context to the potential return, it is important to understand some of the history of the Sonics. In this episode, you can hear:
1) Hall of Fame Sonics player and coach Lenny Wilkens shares why he wants the NBA to return to Seattle and what it was like to deliver the city its first professional sports championship.
2) Craig Kinzer opens up about his experience as a member of the Sonics ownership group that sold the team to Clay Bennett’s Oklahoma City investment group.
3) Paul Lawrence explains what can be learned from his experience as the city’s lead attorney in its trial attempting to force Clay Bennett to fulfill the obligations of the Sonics’ lease in Key Arena.
Also appearing in this episode are City Councilmember Tim Burgess, Pete Nordstrom, Wally Walker and Steve Hussey.