All indications today point to Seattle no longer being in the running to keep the Sonics and Storm.

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All indications today point to Seattle no longer being in the running to keep the Sonics and Storm.

The future of NBA and WNBA basketball in the Puget Sound area now appears to rest with Bellevue or possibly other suburban King County locations. Seattle voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved Initiative 91, which would require the city to receive a “fair value” profit in return for subsidizing a professional sports arena. It may be a deal killer for Seattle.

Mayor Greg Nickels, who opposed the measure, said at a news conference this morning that the door remains open to the teams — but not in a way Sonics ownership is interested in.

“If they’re willing to put private dollars toward enhancing a facility at Seattle Center, we’ll work with them,” Nickels said. “But if they’re looking for a public subsidy, I don’t think it will happen.”

The city previously has said it would spend $20 million to upgrade KeyArena to entice the Sonics and Storm to stay – an offer that the team owners consider inadequate. Even that could be questionable after the passage of I-91, Nickels said.

“There is nothing really left to negotiate with Seattle,” said Jim Kneeland, a Seattle-based spokesman for Clayton Bennett and the Oklahoma-based ownership group. “We have done what we committed to Seattle to do. We looked at Seattle Center as an option in our real-estate search. It made the cut, but what happened with the vote last night puts another factor to bear. That additional factor is political climate. The vote clearly moved a Seattle Center solution further down the list.”

Stuart Eskenazi: 206-464-2293 or seskenazi@seattletimes.com