February 25, 2013 at 3:23 PM
City starting to schedule KeyArena for Sonics
Seattle officials are penciling tentative dates for the SuperSonics to play at KeyArena in the 2013-14 National Basketball Association season.
That scheduling includes working in dates for current tenants at Key, including the Seattle Storm and the Seattle University Redhawks. It also depends on the NBA Board of Governors voting to approve a sale of the Sacramento Kings to the Seattle investment group headed by investor Chris Hansen and to move the team to Seattle. Both decisions could come at the Board of Governors meeting April 18.
The Seattle City Council received a briefing this morning on plans to build a new half-billion-dollar arena in Sodo and prepare the Sonics former home at Key for up to three seasons starting in November.
Councilmembers said they wanted to ensure that the current tenants at Key were involved in scheduling decisions and would not be closed out of their current home court.
Carl Hirsh, a sports consultant hired by Mayor Mike McGinn to help the city negotiate with Hansen, said it’s common for sports facilities to coordinate schedules with multiple teams.
“Every building with the NBA or NHL (National Hockey League) has to work out schedules for multiple tenants. It’s standard operating procedure. Key has done it. They had the Sonics before,” said Hirsh.
A King County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that an agreement reached between Hansen, the city and county in October did not violate state environmental laws. The local longshore workers union had sued, saying an assessment of impacts should have been done before the deal was finalized.