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Mayor Proposes Election Regarding NBA Practice Facility

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Mayor Mick Cornett called Thursday for Oklahoma City to hold an election in March for the public to determine whether to improve the Ford Center and build a practice facility in anticipation of an NBA team relocating.

Cornett said the City Council will consider plans for the election during its Jan. 2 meeting, and the proposed date for the vote would be March 4.

Seattle SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett, an Oklahoma City businessman, has asked the NBA to consider relocating his team to Oklahoma City. That request is expected to be heard in April.

Oklahoma City recently hosted the New Orleans Hornets for two seasons after Hurricane Katrina forced their temporary relocation.

``I think we as a community have reached a consensus that our experience with the NBA was a success and we'd like to pursue it further,'' Cornett said. ``This commitment to making a capital investment in our own facilities is a necessary ingredient to receiving the best possible consideration by the NBA.''

Cornett said the NBA improvements would be paid for by a proposed one-penny sales tax that would last between 12 and 15 months.

Earlier this month, Oklahoma City residents approved a $835 million bond issue, the largest in city history, to pay for various municipal needs including road repairs, improvements to police headquarters and a new fire station.
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