Tuesday , Jul , 18 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Sonics sold to Oklahoma City group

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – The Seattle Sonics have been sold to a
group from Oklahoma City for $350 million.

The group, led by businessman Clay Bennett, also acquired the Seattle Storm as
part of the deal, which was announced at a news conference on Tuesday.

“The Sonics and the Storm are synonymous with Seattle, and it is our desire to
have the Sonics and the Storm build upon their great legacies in the Greater
Seattle area,” said Bennett. “We believe with the right dynamics on the court,
the right community support, the right business model and a financially
committed ownership group that recognizes and respects Seattle, we can succeed
here for decades to come.”

Bennett, who used to be on the board of directors for the San Antonio Spurs,
was active in accommodating the Hornets when they were displaced by Hurricane
Katrina and forced to play most of last season in Oklahoma City.

There is no immediate evidence that Bennett and company are planning to move
the franchises to Oklahoma. The Sonics’ lease for KeyArena with the city of
Seattle expires in 2010.