Share “Sonics file to relocate in OKC”

By Darnell Mayberry Modified: November 2, 2007 at 6:04 pm •  Published: November 2, 2007

/> "The teams are not for sale, and the parties don't need to spend their time and energy working on that process,” Bennett said.

"What we announced on July 18th of 2006 is that we purchased the teams, we would provide a time frame by which we would attempt to foster the development of a new, modern arena facility. If that could be done, we would certainly be very pleased to be here for a very long time. If that could not be done, then we would explore other options that include relocation.”

Bennett said he is convinced Oklahoma City can be a viable long term NBA market even though it's the nation's 45th-sized market and only has a two-year major league track record with the temporarily displaced New Orleans Hornets.

Bennett cited the Hornets' successful two-year stint and the city's growing economy as reasons for optimism, as well as the potential for the Sonics to be the only major league sport in the state.

"Basketball is the right sport, and the NBA is the right product,” Bennett said. "It's a good fit and will be very successful.”

Bennett said he has been disappointed in the Seattle experience, specifically his failed attempts at reaching an arena deal in Seattle.

"We hoped to build a building here,” Bennett said. "I fully expected to build a building here. I expected that in time we would aspire to develop an elite basketball operation and that we would thrive in this very vibrant economy.”

Sonics relocation statement Seattle Post-Intelligencer The Seattle Times