Follow the Sonics off and on the court with reporters Percy Allen and Jayda Evans.
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March 10, 2008 4:14 PM
Posted by Jayda Evans
In almost a whisper, Rep. Jim McIntire, D-Seattle told a cluster of fans one thing they could do to get lawmakers to pickup the pace in helping to save the Sonics. "Pressure, keep up the pressure," he said to about 40 of the more than 250 fans that bombarded the Capitol on Saturday.
The grassroots organization Save Our Sonics is pushing the same. They want supporters to call their legislators between now and Thursday, when the session is scheduled to close. Especially since the local investors giving $150 million toward renovating KeyArena have publicly stated their offer will not be on the table next year - when McIntire said legislators would be more prepared to look into funding for a Sonics project along with housing and other issues, like Husky stadium.
Everyone else seems to be on board, however. Original opponents of another sports facility have stated that the new plan falls within their guidelines and Dino Rossi, a gubernatorial candidate, released a statement today saying he supports the new proposal.
"No one, including myself, wants to see the Sonics leave Seattle," he said in the release. "We all have been waiting for a viable public-private plan to renovate Key Arena and keep the team here. Last Thursday, we got that plan. I have been skeptical about stadium plans in the past, but this is the best proposal I've ever seen in this area. No new state or county tax would be levied, and public money would only be spent on the public areas of the arena."
I heard from several sources on Saturday that close-door meetings are being held and something more concrete than a statement of intentions will be done. But, according to Save Our Sonics, fans can't rest on that. They need to take action, too, by picking up the phone. Here's their full release.
What: Sonics fans need to call 800.562.6000 now
Where: Call 800.562.6000.
Why: Washington State legislators must give King County permission to divert surplus Safeco Field funds to the proposed Seattle Center funding package THIS legislative session to ensure the NBA Board of Governors has proper recourse to vote "No" on the SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City in April.
Save Our Sonics released the following statement following the fan rally at the Capitol in Olympia on Saturday, March 8, 2008:
"Save Our Sonics is extremely encouraged by the overwhelming show of support from fans at the impromptu rally in Olympia last Saturday. Attendance of more than 300 supporters made a real impact on our state legislators, showing them and the nation what we've known all along: that Seattle is passionate about keeping the Sonics in the region.
"The next 72 hours are the most important time in Sonics history. We must continue to put the pressure on state legislators so they understand the importance of this issue to our community. Everyone who cares about sports or the future of Seattle Center must call the Washington Legislative Hotline at 800.562.6000 now and leave a message stating unequivocal support Saving the Sonics.
"Reports from Olympia indicate that calls have been overwhelmingly in favor of the Seattle Center renovation plan. Timing is critical, as we are already in the eleventh hour if we want any chance of keeping [one of our] championship team[s] in Seattle. The Sonics have been a key part of the Seattle landscape for 41 years, and we have the means in place to ensure they remain in our community for another 41 years."
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