Trial Between City of Seattle and SuperSonics Set to Begin - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Trial Between City of Seattle and SuperSonics Set to Begin

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SEATTLE (AP) - Trial begins tomorrow in the city of Seattle's
lawsuit seeking to keep the NBA SuperSonics from moving to Oklahoma
The six-day, no-jury trial in federal court will settle the
final two years of the SuperSonics' lease at Key Arena. Sonics
owner Clay Bennett has gained the NBA's approval to move the team
to Oklahoma City, but Seattle argues its lease forces the franchise
to play two more seasons before departing.
The court will distribute 44 courtroom seats for each morning
and afternoon session through a public lottery, to satisfy those
curious to see firsthand if their city will lose its oldest
professional sports team after 41 years. Bloggers will be filing
word-by-word accounts from a ceremonial courtroom four floors above
the trial room, in an overflow media center that will show
proceedings on closed-circuit television.
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels is scheduled to testify first, and
Bennett also may testify tomorrow.
Afterwards, former Sonics stars Gary Payton and Xavier McDaniel
are scheduled to appear for a "Save Our Sonics!" fan rally in the
courthouse plaza.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)