OLYMPIA -- Pro basketball fans intend pulling Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna onto mid-court in their ongoing legal battle with the new owners of the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics and WNBA's Seattle Storm.
Fan pressure group Save our Sonics and Storm (SOSS) announced a class-action lawsuit yesterday against the Oklahoma City-based Sonics ownership group by season-ticket holders at KeyArena, the team's home. The fans claim the owners deceptively marketed such tickets while contemplating moving the team to Oklahoma.
Yesterday's suit, filed in King County Superior Court, claims Professional Basketball Club LLC violated the state's Consumer Protection Act for not honoring a commitment to keep the Sonics in Seattle until 2010, the group announced on blogsite SonicsCentral.
And as the clock winds down on the deadline for keeping the team in Seattle, McKenna will soon be joining in the final legal scrimmages. The new owners have said they will decide whether to keep the Sonics in town by noon on Halloween day, Oct. 31.
"Save Our Sonics & Storm anticipates that...season ticket holders will be filing complaints with the Washington State Attorney General's Office for consumer protection act violations by the Sonics ownership," SOSS stated Monday. "We are confident that the Attorney General's Office will take these complaints very seriously."
New Sonics chairman Clayton Bennett recently sought arbitration to buy out the rest of the team's lease on KeyArena, which the new owners want out of, Sports Illustrated reported yesterday. The team is expected to improve on the court after drafting highly-rated freshman Kevin Durant earlier this year.
Bennett also gave "an unequivocal guarantee of fixed ticket pricing through the 2010 NBA season," the SOSS claimed yesterday. But since then it's become clear "that the Sonics...have in fact taken direct action to deny [the guarantee] to their customers with recent attempts to breach their existing lease."
Former Sonics owner Howard Schultz had placed a value of $400 million on the franchise in spring 2006 before selling to Bennett's Oklahoma City-based later in the year. The team has since lost star players Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.