Sonics Arena Issue Won't get Voted on this time - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sonics Arena Issue Won't get Voted on this time

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SEATTLE, Wash. - A big setback Monday for supporters of a new Sonics Arena in Renton. State lawmakers will not vote on a financing measure this session. They decided at a meeting with the governor that there's just not enough time. Governor Gregoire says she plans to call new Sonics owner, Clay Bennett, to see if discussions can continue after the session ends.

Bennett, however calls the decision not to vote on the issue "likely a debilitating blow."

Bennett has asked for 300-million in public money to build his new 500-million dollar arena.

Without it, he'll likely move the team after next season. The Sonics end this season Wednesday at home versus Dallas.

Statement by Clay Bennett on Lack of Action on Legislation

Authorizing King County to Develop a Multipurpose Events Center

This a staggering and quite likely a debilitating blow to our efforts to develop a world-class arena facility. Clearly at this time the Sonics and Storm have little hope of remaining in the Puget Sound region. We believe we have gone to extraordinary lengths with significant time and resources to craft a proposal for a global caliber multi-purpose event facility that would be a valuable public asset for the region for years to come and have minimal impact on taxpayers. By its inaction the Legislature has delivered the message that they are indifferent to the notion of the Sonics and the Storm leaving the market. We remain willing and available to work with the Governor and the Legislature to explore every conceivable funding option for the building. We are also receptive to analyzing any private financing mechanisms that are brought to our attention. But at this time we have no other concepts on the table. We want to recognize Senator Margarita Prentice and Representative Eric Pettigrew for their courageous leadership in the Legislature. We also want to thank the good people of Renton who have enthusiastically supported these efforts. In addition we wish to thank the many supporters and advocates who have worked hard on our behalf. As owners we remain absolutely committed to restoring the Sonics to a championship caliber team - on this subject we will not waver. Further we are committed to delivering the very best fan experience and sponsor value that we can. We thank our fans, season ticket holders and sponsors from the bottom of our heart. We also thank our professional staff, our players and coaching staff, all of our friends who work at Key Arena and everyone who has believed in us.