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Sonics move Seattle lawsuit to federal court

Associated Press

SEATTLE - The Seattle SuperSonics have succeeded in getting the city of Seattle's lawsuit over the Key Arena lease moved from state to federal court.

The Oklahoma City based owners of the Sonics argued that it's an interstate contract dispute and is more appropriate in U.S. District Court than in King County Superior Court.

The city could still appeal the move but a hearing is scheduled for October 19th before federal Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle.

The city is trying to block the owners from going to arbitration over the terms of the Key Arena lease which calls for the Sonics to play in the arena into 2010.

Sonics owner Clay Bennett is preparing to take steps to move the team after this season unless there's an agreement for a new arena in the Seattle area.

Oklahoma City is considered the likely destination if the team is moved.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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