Sonics Choose Seattle Suburb As Proposed Arena Site

Wednesday, February 14th 2007, 9:31 am
By: News On 6

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) _ SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett says he wants to relocate his NBA team from Seattle to one of its suburbs.

The Oklahoma City businessman told a Washington state legislative committee the suburb of Renton is his choice for a proposed new $500 million multipurpose arena.

The hearing Tuesday was on proposed bills that would authorize the use of King County taxes. The taxes proposed to be used already exist and are paying for Seattle stadiums for baseball's Seattle Mariners and the NFL Seattle Seahawks, as well as for remaining debt on the now-demolished Kingdome.

Bennett says the decision on Renton was made late last night after review of an initial list of 29 sites.

He cites Renton's potential for economic growth and says the 21-acre site is larger, more available and less expensive than a proposed site along ``auto row'' in Bellevue.

Renton would also be the new home of Bennett's WNBA Seattle Storm.

The NBA team's new ownership is seeking a new home to replace the Key Arena in Seattle. If Bennett doesn't get an agreement for a new arena in the Seattle area by October 31st, his $350 million purchase agreement allows him to move the team to Oklahoma City.

Bennett has not said how much the Sonics ownership would contribute to building a new arena.