Who are the new owners?
The new ownership, The Professional Basketball Club LLC, (TPBC) is a small group of businessmen led by Clay Bennett, chairman of Dorchester Capital in Oklahoma City, and by Ed Evans, chairman of Syniverse Holdings, Inc. located in Tampa, Florida. The investor group is composed of business people who have a proven track record of success in various enterprises, including professional sports. Clay Bennett was one of the owners of the San Antonio Spurs in the mid 1990s and has a wealth of experience working with other professional sports teams. Ed Evans, is also a very well respected businessman in Oklahoma City. TPBC will operate similarly to the BCOS where the Sonics & Storm President and CEO answers to the board.
How long will the Sonics & Storm be in Seattle?
Under the TPBC ownership group, honoring the current KeyArena lease continues to be a priority. As Clay Bennett states, “The Sonics and the Storm are synonymous with Seattle, and it is our desire to have the teams build upon the legacies in the Seattle region. We believe with the right dynamics on the court, the right business model and a financially committed ownership group that recognizes and respect Seattle, we can succeed here for decades to come.”
Can the new ownership group move the team before 2010?
Members of the new ownership have stated their commitment to keeping the Sonics and the Storm here. They have emphasized their intention to honor the lease which runs through 2010.
Why did the ownership group sell to out of town buyers? Were there no local options?
On behalf of the Basketball Club of Seattle, Howard Schultz has stated as chairman that BCOS’s first preference was to identify a local buyer residing in the Pacific Northwest, and that the BCOS was committed to accepting a lower price for the teams if a local buyer came forward. He stated that the BCOS’s search for a local buyer was unsuccessful, but that the BCOS is pleased to have sold the teams to a new ownership group, The Professional Basketball Club, that is a stellar management team with a history of proven success and is focused on the teams’ success in Seattle.
How does this sale affect the Sonics & Storm's arena issues?
Like the Basketball Club of Seattle, TPBC is focused on creating a long-term arena solution that provides a competitive home court here for the Sonics and the Storm.
Where will the Sonics & Storm play?
The Sonics will open the 2006-07 NBA season this fall as usual in KeyArena. The Storm continue to play the 2006 WNBA season at KeyArena now. TPBC has stated they will honor the current KeyArena lease which expires following the 2009-10 season.