According to ESPN, Seattle wasn't discussed at the NBA's most recent board meeting. As for that $700 million renovation of KeyArena? "If the city wants to outbid other markets to attract a team," it could require "a second new arena with the NBA team as the main tenant."
After 10 long years, NBA basketball will be played in the city of Seattle Friday night.
Amid the hype heading into the Warriors-Kings preseason game at KeyArena, there’s been plenty of discussion around impressing the league and showing Seattle is still deserving of an NBA team.
Tickets sold out in hours. You can’t get in the door for less than $100 buying from third-party ticket sellers. Basketball has been the talk of the town — starting with the Storm’s championship and segueing into this preseason showdown. There’s never been a doubt about the city’s passion for hoops.
Most Read Sports Stories
- WSU football coach Nick Rolovich fired for refusing COVID vaccine; defensive coordinator is acting head coach
- Seahawks DE Darrell Taylor's CT scans come back 'clear,' Pete Carroll says
- Commentary: This ended the only way it could for WSU and unvaccinated football coach Nick Rolovich
- National media react to Seahawks’ Week 6 loss, Jamal Adams’ claim and Russell Wilson’s drills
- Rare double punt by Seahawks' Michael Dickson still has the NFL buzzing — including Bill Belichick
So, plans for a renovated arena in hand … defending champs coming to town with a former MVP … Seattle’s on track to get the Sonics back, right? Right behind the NHL?
Not so fast, according to ESPN NBA reports Brian Windhorst.
Ahead of Friday night’s preseason game, Windhorst updated the situation between the league and the city.
“When will Seattle get the Sonics back? The likely answer isn’t what Seattle basketball fans want to hear: Not anytime soon,” Windhorst writes.
According to Windhorst, expansion is likely to wait until after a new TV deal in 2025. But could relocation, a la Chris Hansen’s attempt to bring the Sacramento Kings to Seattle in 2013, be an option? The future of the Grizzlies in Memphis is in question, Windhorst reports, but it would require their owner selling the team.
Despite Seattle’s boom and the NBA’s growing popularity, despite the city’s successful pitch to the NHL and a privately financed arena signed, sealed and about to be delivered — Windhorst reports Seattle didn’t come up at the league’s September board meeting.
From Windhorst: “The situation could even require Seattle to have a second new arena with the NBA team as the main tenant if the city wants to outbid other markets to attract a team, multiple ownership sources told ESPN.”
However, last year NBA commissioner Adam Silver told The Seattle Times about KeyArena, “I have no concern that the building proper won’t meet our requirements.”
Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, which is renovating KeyArena, went on KJR 950-AM and strongly refuted Windhorst’s reporting.
“It is completely untrue and I told him that,” Leiweke told KJR. “… It is false. It is not true. And it is not going to happen.”