Clay Bennett has won his battle to move the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City. A move he intended when he purchased the team back in 2006. Bennett paid $350 million to Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz for the Sonics.
The lawsuit settlement requires Bennett to pay $75 million to the people of Seattle for terminating the last two years of the lease remaining between the Sonics and the Key Arena.
The settlement calls for Sonics owner Clay Bennett and his Professional Basketball Club LLC to pay as much as $75 million to the city in exchange for the immediate termination of the lease. The team’s name and colors will be staying in Seattle.
“We made it,” Bennett said after stepping to an Oklahoma City podium featuring the NBA logo and the letters OKC. “The NBA will be in Oklahoma City next season.”
Bennett said the move would start Thursday and the first focus would be on the SuperSonics’ players.
Bennett still faces another lawsuit from Schultz who is trying to regain control of the team. Schultz feels that Bennett dealt in bad faith when he promised to help get funding for a new arena to keep the team in Seattle.
Contrary to the logo above the colors and team nickname will remain in Seattle according to the settlement.