Share “City council approves Sonics lease agreement”

By Bryan Dean Published: April 15, 2008
A lease allowing the Seattle SuperSonics to use the Ford Center won approval this morning from the Oklahoma City Council.

The city also approved a lease with the team for a yet-to-be-built NBA practice facility and spelled out terms with the team explaining the improvements to be made at the Ford Center as part of the tax initiative approved by voters March 4.

Voters overwhelmingly supported the 1-cent sales tax, which will pay for about $101 million in improvements to the arena and the $20 million practice facility.

The city will begin work before the tax goes into effect Jan. 1, 2009 and will take out a $20 million line of credit to start the renovations.

The terms in all the agreements approved today were outlined in a letter of intent between the city and the team, approved March 25.

NBA owners are scheduled to vote later this week on the team’s application to relocate to Oklahoma City. City officials said having the lease agreements in place will help show the city’s commitment to making the NBA successful at the Ford Center.