Sonics II?

If you thought, not unreasonably, that Seattle’s current position on the NBA is “Screw ’em,” you might want to take the following under advisement:

A wealthy San Francisco hedge-fund manager and officials in the Seattle mayor’s office have been working behind the scenes for eight months to bring an NBA team back to the city as early as next fall and build a new arena, according to emails and documents that reveal a far more concerted effort than previously known.

The documents, released Friday to The Seattle Times under a public-disclosure request, also provide the first glimpse of how the largely unknown hedge-fund manager, 44-year-old Seattle native Christopher Hansen, approached the city about his desire to buy an NBA team and build an arena south of Safeco Field.

But which team? The ownership most likely to sell would be presumably dealing with both arena issues and an indifferent (or worse) record. Which means — yes, you guessed it:

Although the documents don’t mention how Seattle would obtain a team, they show the city has been following developments in Sacramento, which is under a March 1 deadline to come up with a viable proposal to build an arena for the Sacramento Kings. In September, Hirsh emailed a copy of an Associated Press story to Raup that outlined the Sacramento situation.

If Sacramento fails, the Kings could be playing in Seattle next fall if the city and Hansen reach an agreement, according to a Seattle City Hall source who has been briefed on the matter.

Second choice might be the league-owned New Orleans Hornets, but David Stern has always said he’s looking for an owner who would keep them in the Big Easy.


  1. Dan B »

    6 February 2012 · 6:40 pm

    They could even keep the Kings name in the move, since Seattle is in King County, and even the NBC affiliate there is KING-TV5.

  2. CGHill »

    6 February 2012 · 8:17 pm

    Assuming they can see the marketing potential. I was somewhat put off by the abandonment of the Sonics name before they had a chance to dress up some footlong cheese coneys.

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