Sonics left off arena schedule
Ford Center officials say they will rearrange schedule if NBA team moves to OKC

By Darnell Mayberry Published: February 25, 2008
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"W

e still have to conduct business. If the Sonics come, certainly we'll end up having to make some changes. But right now we still have an obligation to book the building and schedule events.”

The lease between Oklahoma City and the Blazers contains a clause that gives any potential NBA team first rights to Ford Center dates. Typically, the Ford Center is required to make 30 Friday and Saturday night dates available to the Blazers with the team generally receiving between 21 and 24 of those dates.

"I don't know how the NBA process works,” said Brad Lund of Express Sports, which owns the Blazers, "but I was surprised that we weren't given two different sets of dates. I thought they'd at least hold some in case (the Sonics come).”

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett doesn't think there would be any problems readjusting the schedule for the Sonics.

"Are we going to be able to host 41 NBA games on a fairly short notice? Yes. Absolutely,” Cornett said.

Cornett pointed to how the NBA schedules a heavy amount of weeknight games whereas the Blazers prefer Fridays and Saturdays. Out of 32 home games, Lund said, the Blazers typically play only a handful of weeknight games.

"There shouldn't be any conflict between the NBA and the Blazers,” Cornett said. "Hockey and basketball teams coexist all over.”



Gary Desjardins

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