New plan could help Sonics move

Friday, December 21st 2007, 10:25 am
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett announced plans for a proposal to help move the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City. 

On Thursday, the mayor announced a proposal for a one-cent sales tax increase. The increase could help raise $100 million needed to fund capital improvements to the Ford Center and build an NBA training facility downtown. The mayor said he will attend the City Council meeting on January 2, where he will call for the proposal election date to be set as March 4, 2008.

NBA owners are expected to meet in April to rule on whether Clay Bennett, the owner of the SuperSonics, should be allowed to move the professional basketball team to Oklahoma City. Mayor Cornett's fundraising proposal would come just one month before the owners meet on the issue.

The mayor hopes to know which way the NBA decision might sway before the election.

"I hope to have all of those issues resolved, hopefully by the time of the call for election in a couple of weeks," said Cornett. "If not, then in plenty of time before the election so everyone knows what we're talking about."

And Bennett applauds the city's efforts.

"Mayor Cornett and the city have taken a visionary and appropriate step towards becoming an NBA City. I applaud their leadership," read a statement from Bennett to NEWS 9.