Bennett Issues Call for Action to Reignite Arena Discussions
July 19, 2007
- One year after announcing the purchase of the Seattle SuperSonics and Storm, Chairman Clayton Bennett says it’s time to take an honest and serious look at the status of an arena development process and the future of the teams in Seattle. Bennett has issued a call to action to the political, business and civic leadership of the city, county and state asking for substantive dialogue to discuss potential solutions.
“One year ago this week we announced the purchase of the teams,” Bennett said. “As part of the purchase and sale agreement, we committed to the previous owners and the NBA that we would work for one year from the close of the transaction, until October 31, 2007, to secure the development of a successor venue to KeyArena. In this time we developed what we believed was a pathway to a successful NBA and WNBA future in the region; a new multi-purpose arena with the SuperSonics and Storm as lead tenants. We were disappointed with the results at the Legislature and further disappointed at the lack of progress since the end of the session. We now invite the leadership of the Seattle area to reengage on this issue.”
Bennett said he has asked Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels for a meeting as soon as possible.
“As the Mayor of Seattle, the home city to the SuperSonics and Storm, we believe the Mayor is the appropriate person to provide leadership and guidance on this issue,” Bennett said.
Bennett emphasized again that the ownership group’s priority is keeping both the SuperSonics and Storm in the Seattle area.
“From day one we have maintained that it is our objective and preference to keep the teams in the market. However, this can only be achieved through the development of a new state of the art multi-purpose arena facility,” Bennett said.
“The issue is clear and simple; does the leadership of the region wish to retain its professional basketball teams? If so, serious productive discussions must commence at once. If not, as owners we must consider all of our options in regaining the financial viability of the business,” Bennett said.