The lease is approved, and a decision on whether the Seattle SuperSonics will play at the Ford Center rests squarely with NBA owners. The NBA's Board of Governors are set to vote later this week on a request by the Sonics to relocate to Oklahoma City.
The city council on Tuesday approved a lease with the team to play at the Ford Center and a lease for a yet-to-be-built NBA practice facility. The council also 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 terms in all the agreements approved Tuesday were outlined in a letter of intent between the city and the team, approved March 25. "All the substantive terms are totally in alignment,” City Manager Jim Couch said. "This is really just fleshing out those agreements.” The city will begin work before the tax goes into effect Jan. 1 and will take out a $20 million line of credit to start the renovations. Read Gregoire's letter to the NBA