Drama In Oklahoma City Has Seattle Basketball Fans Saying Come On Home
It feels like it happens every NBA offseason, but the rumors are once again running rampant that the SuperSonics will be coming back to Seattle.
Now, we could be seeing everything come full circle as trouble has arrived with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team that the SuperSonics became upon leaving Seattle, and their desire for a new arena.
The Thunder are currently nearing the end of an expiring 15-year contract at Paycom Center that is set to conclude in 2023. Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt announced last week during his State Of The City address that the team has agreed to a three-year extension.
Holt said, "Obviously we want a long-term relationship with professional sports in this city. And to do that, you have to have facilities that are current and competitive."
Last year, as part of MAPS 4, voters in Oklahoma City recently approved $115 million for the arena and the team's practice facility. Proponents of this measure explained that improvements were needed to be competitive and sign a new lease with the Thunder.
Paycom Center first opened back in 2002, and was designed in hopes of attracting an NHL team. The NHL reportedly rejected OKC when it bid for an expansion team in 1996. In 2005, the NBA temporarily relocated the New Orleans Hornets to Oklahoma City when New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina.
Investors, led by Clay Bennett, bough the Seattle SuperSonics for $350 million in 2006 and moved the team to Oklahoma City in 2008 when leaders in Seattle failed to secure enough public funding to build a new arena for the team. In 2021, Forbes valued the team at $1.63 billion.
A lot of times when professional sports teams leave cities, it has to do with public funding and new arenas, as we saw with Seattle. Now, it's what could end up bringing NBA back to the Emerald City.
A new arena is reportedly not a lock for Oklahoma City. They could stay where they are. Or everything could fall apart. What if the citizens don't want their taxes going towards a basketball team? What if a deal can't be agreed upon?
People in Oklahoma City are already voicing their frustrations with the Billionaires in charge of the team trying to get the people to pay for the new and improved arena.
There's an interesting Twitter thread on it, with several different perspectives above. Some people don't want their tax money going towards that when billionaires could easily afford it. Others don't mind saying that's something they actually like their taxes going towards. Having a professional team in your city is a huge benefit.
Those in favor see it as worth their dollar to keep the team in town, for the sake of entertainment alone.
I live in Boise, and we would love to get a professional team in our beloved city. The closest pro team in all the major sports in four and a half hours away from Boise, in Salt Lake City with the Utah Jazz.
It's interesting to see the patterns and to think about history repeating itself with the Seattle SuperSonics.
The timing couldn't be any better for Seattle, as well. The League has reportedly been considering expanding and Seattle is one of the rumored options that the NBA is leaning towards.
Let's look at some of those cities.
10 Cities That Need An NBA Team
It would be so great to see the NBA return to Seattle. It would excite, not only the city of Seattle or the state of Washington, not even just the Pacific Northwest, all of the country wants to see the Sonics come back.
Every year it's brought up, but doesn't happen. Now, it feels like we're getting some real traction.
It would be so great to get the NBA back in Seattle. Not just for the fans and the city, but because the SuperSonics jerseys and color scheme was one of the best--not just in basketball--but all of professional sports.
The Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton era was something else. Ray Allen days. Those jerseys were sharp! Do you remember Kevin Durant even rocked the Green for a season?
Let's take a look back at some of the iconic looks and players on the Seattle SuperSonics. We need these back.
Fresh Looks From The Seattle SuperSonics
Are they coming back? We'll just have to wait and see. It's looking more likely than ever, right now. It would help if the Thunder find a way to totally fumble their arena situation.
Speaking of professional sports in the Pacific Northwest, the SuperSonics aren't the only team that could be coming to the region.
We could be gaining a team in the National Football League, as well.
10 Cities That Need An NFL Team
I am in favor of all of this. Bring back the Sonics. Bring another pro football team to the Pacific Northwest.