Ford Center officials are not planning on hosting the Seattle SuperSonics next season and have begun building the arena's late 2008 and early 2009 schedule without holding dates for the NBA team's potential fall arrival.
The Central Hockey League's Oklahoma City Blazers, the arena's primary tenant, have the option to select from 13 of 27 available weekend dates from October through March for their 2008-09 schedule. Eight other weekend dates are unavailable because of previously scheduled events such as Women of Faith, Professional Bull Riding, Monster Trucks, Sesame Street and the Big 12 Tournament.
A crammed Ford Center schedule, however, doesn't mean the Oklahoma-owned Sonics couldn't play here next season.
If the team wins its federal court case in June or reaches a settlement with the City of Seattle and relocates in time for the 2008-09 season, Ford Center and Oklahoma City officials likely will have to rearrange the arena's schedule much like they did when the Hornets relocated here in September 2005.
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it,” said Ford Center general manager Gary Desjardins. "That would be a pleasant problem to have. We were able to do it when the Hornets were here, and that was much more difficult to do because with the Hornets we were much closer to the season.”
Desjardins said he isn't holding dates for the Sonics because he can't turn down business while anticipating a relocation that might not occur.
"We don't know what's going to happen,” Desjardins said.