The Sonic family is back, but Seattle isn’t ready

Classic Seattle Supersonics logo. Note the space needle, which is not found in Oklahoma City.

in Every breath on my side From NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Seattle fans are anticipating news of the return of men’s professional basketball to the top left of the nation. Likes Extracting divine words From the prophets from above, these orange spherical alarms analyze signs from every cloud And spill beer, hoping they do harbinger of an imminent return Supersonic basketball.

The latest planetary alignment includes TV contracts, pre-season games, and Las Vegas build schedules that seem to indicate that the Sonics will make a comeback sometime in late September or early October. The National Basketball Association (NBA) wants to represent more TV markets as they enter A new media agreement in 2024-2025. The new Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle will host pre-season games on October 3 between the Trailblazers and the Clippers. new A prefab basketball arena is being built in Vegas By Oak View Group, the people who renovated the Seattle plaza.

Everything comes together. Probably. But is Seattle ready?

they left us

The men’s professional basketball team abandoned Seattle in 2008. Just like Starbucks gives up any claim to social responsibility once a store tries to join a syndicate, then the owner of Sonic Howard Schultz He ran a screamer from the history of the community and team once in the face of a buyout bid from the company’s lucrative backwaters in Oklahoma City. It was a justification of civil liability that Schultz expended several self-serving memos to justify. People Don’t forget this kind of rejection.

[Note: I did not live here at the time. But I viscerally understand the feeling. I have similar unique words for former Baltimore Colts owner Bob Irsay and his Mad Tweeter son, who under cover of snowy darkness cravenly relocated the team to Indianapolis to avoid a legislature-backed attempt at keeping the team in Baltimore. May Indianapolis live up to its entire reputation as Indianapolis, which is the worst curse of all.]

Now, 15 years have passed and 150,000 people have moved to Seattle since we’ve had an NBA team. One-fifth of Seattle’s entire population wasn’t living in the city when the Sonics last played here. Approximately Half a million new residents They moved to the area. In the intervening years, Seattle Reinventing its urban core and reformulate its role in the metropolitan area. Unfortunately, the transmission system is only now beginning to catch up.

In this decade and a half of the NBA, Seattle found another amusement. the most important, pickle ball he is national trend which has its roots in the neighboring Bainbridge Island. There were also two Seahawks Super Bowl appearances, the Sounders MLS Championship, no Mariners entries, and the new Kraken Hockey Club. Most importantly, there were four professional basketball leagues. women Seattle Storm It overshadowed anything the boys tried to do. All boys. sum.

Unfortunately, during the 2010s, Seattle men’s basketball did not help itself. Efforts to bring the Sonics back to Seattle were tepid and it fell to them…their swords. New Sonic franchise sponsors have appeared and suggested cool new arenas. When that demise was interrogatedwere female city council members They were assaulted with violent death threats.

basketball comes

However, the structures are now in place for Seattle to accept a new NBA franchise. In 2018, the Oak View Group Obtain renewal rights What was then Key Arena. Renamed Climate Pledge Arena, the facility has been completely rebuilt to modern sports standards under the historic roof. as such We said when it openedThe new barn is great, and we’ll keep saying it’s great until Brandon Tanev, left winger for Kraken, comes along and says anything he wants to us.

What was designed for hockey was also in the mind of basketball. The Climate Pledge Arena is a great facility for the sport. Seattle Storm The average number of fans per game reached 10,000 For his first year on the scene, more than any other team in the league by a third. The record is strong enough to host preseason NBA games between those Southern teams, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers on October 3. History leads to a lot of recent rumors about NBA expansion announcements.

The neighborhood around Climate Pledge is still learning how to host weekday winter rink events. Lower Queen Anne struggled to find a foothold between a quiet office area and a thriving residential area. This left like the old standby Buckley Really crowded, excellent newcomers love Uptown Hope House It closes at 11 pm. Adding another 40 nights of sports each winter requires a more robust local restaurant scene. or better, mayor of the night To help oversee the growth of a real nightlife scene in the area.

And drivers still fail to understand what it means to be a lane.

The NBA may be the last and hardest piece for the NBA in Seattle. The current 30 owners have to settle the franchise expansion fees rumored to be in $2.5 billion range. There will also be expansion drafts that do not create two moribund teams and negotiations with the player’s association that avoid weakening the talent pool. Present The collective bargaining agreement expires in 2023-2024.

More importantly for some teams, Seattle’s willingness to return the Sonics has served as a bargaining chip to negotiate new arenas. The The Sacramento Kings got a new arena While packing literally to move north. The Memphis Grizzlies or the New Orleans Pelicans would like to have the same opportunity. Grizzlies are Least valuable league franchise With an 18-year-old yard. swans The arena will be rented in 2024 And you need leverage for new or updated facilities. Both are considered Very high transfer chances. The cost of delaying the expansion team in Seattle for another year may be offset by getting local commitments to build some new gyms.

Even with these headwinds, the stars seem to be in line with the announcement that the Seattle Supersonics will be back sooner rather than later. With dual expansions in Seattle and Vegas, that puts the NBA in a 32-team squad just as the league is negotiating a new TV deal in 2024. The timing seems right. The square looks correct. The planets align with the NBA’s return in Seattle, whether the city and neighborhood are ready or not.


Ray Dubicki is a stay-at-home dad and an on-call dad who takes care of public school assignments and the neighborhood around Ballard. This lets him know how urbanization works (or not) during the hours most people spend at their desks. A lawyer and urban specialist by training, he has experience in planning from soup to nuts from law enforcement to university development to writing zoning ordinances. He enjoys using PowerPoint, but only because it’s no longer a weekly commitment.