SEATTLE (CN) -The Seattle Supersonics will pay the City of Seattle $45 million for breaking its lease to move to Oklahoma City. And the Sonics must pay Seattle another $30 million if the city fails to find a new NBA team within five years, under terms of the settlement.
After the new owners announced that they would move the franchise to Oklahoma City, the city sued to force the Sonics to play out the final two years of their lease at KeyArena in Seattle. The agreement was reached after a 6-day bench trial that Sonics’ lawyers called a “media circus.”
Thousands of fans gathered at the Federal Courthouse for a “Save Our Sonics” rally on the opening day of the trial and author Sherman Alexie testified on behalf of season ticket-holders, pleading for “two more years of the Greek gods.”
The Sonics’ name and team colors will remain in Seattle under the agreement.