The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 October 2007

Where the Sonics stand

Right where they've been: in Seattle.

The ruling by US District Judge Ricardo Martinez (text in PDF format here) throws out the argument by the Professional Basketball Club, which owns the Sonics, that the KeyArena lease should be subject to arbitration. Pertinent quote (Article II sets the end of the lease date at 30 September 2010):

The parties unequivocally excluded from arbitration disputes relating to Article II. Had the parties clearly intended that only PBC be able to seek judicial relief for any disputes regarding the Lease, the parties would not have placed such prominent language within the arbitration clause of their agreement.

And here's the "unequivocal" language in the arbitration clause (here, as before, emphasis as it appears in the ruling):

All claims, disputes and other matters in question between the parties arising out of, or relating to provisions of this Agreement shall be decided by binding arbitration . . . unless the parties mutually agree otherwise or unless the claim, dispute, or matter in question relates to the provisions of Article II ("Term; Use Period"), Article III ("Termination of Current Agreement Providing Seattle Center Space for SuperSonics Home Game Use"); Article IV ("Coliseum Design and Construction"), Article V ("Coliseum Planning & Construction Schedule; [PBC] Opportunities to Void Agreement"), Subsection XVI.F ("Hazardous Substances") or Article XIX ("Subcontracting and Transfer of Ownership").

Seemed fairly obvious to me; apparently it seemed fairly obvious to everyone except the Sonics' front office.

Posted at 8:36 PM to Net Proceeds