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Sonics Trial Blog

Seattle Times reporters Percy Allen, Jim Brunner and Danny O'Neil are filing updates from the courthouse throughout the day.

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June 18, 2008 3:52 PM

Sonics aren't selling tickets for next season

Posted by Percy Allen

During redirect from Seattle attorney Jeffrey Johnson, Sonics interim CEO Danny Barth said the team is not selling tickets for next season.

Johnson gave several examples of disputes between the Sonics and the city that have been resolved without lawsuits.

Johnson examined Exhibit 505, television ratings on FSN. He pointed out that the 1.24 rating occurred during the Sonics' worst season in franchise history.

Johnson examined Exhibit 508, the no-show rate. He asked if Barth compared the figures against the NBA average or double checked to make sure the figures were accurate. Barth said no.

Johnson examined Exhibit 504, which detailed Sonics payments to the city. He pointed out the lease was intended to give more money to the Sonics over time. For instance, suite sales splits were originally 80-20 in favor of the city, but now they are 60-40 for the city. Barth agreed.

Johnson examined Exhibit 596, Barth's projection of the Sonics' lease payments to the city for the next two years. Barth said he normally uses one-year projections, but in this case he used a two-year projection based on MZ Sports analysis.

Johnson introduced evidence in which a Goldman Sachs analysis predicted the Sonics would only lose $3.7 million in 2009 and $1.9 million in 2010.

Barth said in 2004-05, the Sonics made more money than expected because the team had an unexpectedly "good" season and made the playoffs. Barth said the team sold more season tickets than expected following the 2005 playoff run that ended in the conference semifinals.

At 3:48 p.m., Johnson concluded his questioning and Seattle attorney Brad Keller began re-cross.

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Sonics attorneys focus on city's "poisoned well" plan
Bennett says Sonics could lose $60 million if forced to stay in Seattle 2 more years
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Documents

2007 "Poisoned Well" document (PDF)
Ward: "Are we doomed to have another lameduck season in Seattle?" (PDF)
Bennett's e-mail to Stern: "You are just one of my favorite people on earth" (PDF)
Clay Bennett and Sonics' court filing (PDF)

Multimedia

Gallery | Seattle SuperSonics: Lasting memories
Gallery | Bittersweet night for Sonics fans
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Talk about the team in the Sonics forum

Other links

Trial coverage from www.newok.com
ESPN.com | Hope (still) springs in Seattle