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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bennett Closer to Being $30 Million Poorer!?

According the the Seattle PI:

The Bill designed to get new Seattle NBA team is moving forward in the legislative process.

A state Senate committee on Monday passed a bill that would make it easier for Seattle to get another NBA team - or for the city to collect $30 million from the Sonics-turned-Oklahoma City Thunder owner if professional basketball doesn't return to Jet City soon.

Senate Bill 6116 would allocate a portion of existing restaurant and car rental taxes to pay for the arts and housing for poor people as well as for improvements to KeyArena.

Specifically, the measure says: "If by 2013 the city of Seattle has a lease with an
NBA team the 2 percent car rental tax and the King County food and beverage tax raised
within Seattle must go to pay for bonds for necessary improvements to Key Arena."

The bill must still be approved by the full Senate and signed off on by the House. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn Sunday.

To break his lease at KeyArena and move the team, Bennett agreed to pay $45 million. He also agreed to pay the city another $30 million if the NBA doesn't send a new team to a revamped KeyArena by 2013. However as part of that deal the Legislature has to approve a revenue stream for a facility by the end of this year - or Bennett gets to keep his money.

One step closer to relieving Bennett of his $30 million!

One thing to keep in mind is that the upgrades could be used to help lure other business to the Arena, not just and NBA franshise. This is a good thing all around. An upgraded Coliseum, a potential new NBA tenant, a potentially poorer Clay Bennett!

More Corndogs, Less cash for Bennett, more Blunder!

1 comment:

JAWA said...

Hope it all works out! The sentiment right about now thinks this bill is dead, but Tim Ceis says not so fast. I just hope that the Washington State Legislature realizes what they're doing and what they would be missing out on should this bill die, and it's not only about making Bennett $30 million lighter in his wallet. As Yogi Berra once said, "it ain't over till it's over!"