No one knows if the Sonics will be playing NBA basketball in Seattle this fall, but investor Chris Hansen is already preparing by launching a priority wait-list for future Sonics tickets.
“In addition to helping us understand and prioritize the demand for tickets, registering your interest will be a critical step in demonstrating to the NBA and basketball fans around the country the unbelievable passion that exists in the Emerald City to BRING BACK OUR SONICS!” Hansen writes.
So no, this doesn’t exactly mean the Sonics are coming back to Seattle.
“We are in the midst of working through the approval and relocation process with the NBA, and we would expect a determination to be made at the Board of Governors meeting in mid-April,” Hansen wrote.
You can get your name on the list by heading to sonicsarena.com this Thursday at 10 a.m.
Hansen, along with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, is leading a Seattle group that reached an agreement with the Maloof family in January to buy 65 percent of the Sacramento Kings for a reported $341 million. The group has already put down a $30 million non-refundable deposit and has requested for the team to play at KeyArena for two seasons before moving into a brand new SoDo arena in 2015.
This is the first public comment Hansen has made since January. It seems like a bit of a PR stunt as just two weeks ago Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson named two equity investors as part of the fight to keep the Sacramento Kings in town and convince the NBA to reject the Seattle deal.
NBA officials are expected to vote on the sale at its annual meeting in New York April 18-19. Hansen and Ballmer need a three-quarters supermajority approval from the board.
In terms of Ballmer’s involvement with all this, reports came out in June that the Microsoft CEO was part of the investment group with Hansen. It’s not surprising: Ballmer was a regular at Sonics games before the team departed for Oklahoma City in 2008 and also was part of another investment group that tried to keep the team here. Seattle has been without a team since then.
Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft to Sacramento: Don’t blame us for taking your NBA team
Reach staff reporter Taylor Soper at email@example.com or on Twitter @Taylor_Soper