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Gorton enlisted to save Seattle Sonics

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Associated Press - September 13, 2007 11:35 AM ET

SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle has enlisted former Senator Slade Gorton in the effort to save the Sonics.

Gorton was a key figure in bringing major league baseball to Seattle and brokering the sale of the Mariners to a Japanese owner to keep the team in the city.

Gorton now works for a law firm. Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis (sees) says Gorton has not been formally hired, but he'll help see that the Sonics play in the Key Arena through the lease that runs to 2010.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels plans to set aside $1 million for a legal battle over the Sonics lease.

The Oklahoma City businessman who owns the Sonics, Clay Bennett, has threatened to move the team as early as next season if no agreement is reached on a new arena in the Seattle area by the end of next month.

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