Experts differ on Sonics' impact
Judge turns down owners' request to end trial early
SEATTLE — Economists, a pollster and a rabid fan of the SuperSonics gave sometimes conflicting views in federal court Thursday about the impact the NBA team has on this city, whose government is trying to block the team's relocation to Oklahoma City for two years.
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Trial highlights from Day 4
•Dueling economists testified about whether the Sonics have an economic impact in the city. The one hired by the city said it's been over $180 million a year for the last five years. The one hired by the owners said sports teams don't have a net economic impact since the consumer dollars spent would be spent elsewhere in the area. •The head of a nationally recognized polling firm testified that a survey she did for the owners as part of this lawsuit shows nearly two-thirds of the people 18 and older in Seattle and the metropolitan area don't care if the team leaves or think they'd be better off if the team left. The Seahawks, the city's NFL team, and the Mariners, the pro baseball team, fared much better. •U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman, who is hearing the case without a jury, rejected a request by the owners' attorneys to shut down the trial today, cutting off a day of the six scheduled. Testimony will continue today but, because of a scheduling conflict with the judge, it won't resume until June 26, and then for only one day.
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