While a team that will not be named, all right the Oklahoma City Thunder, plays the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals, the people of Seattle are not standing idly by. Seattle known for its coffee, computers, music, rain (of course) and on occasion a good old protest, held true to itself today in support of its Sonics.
Hoping to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle (along with a new NHL franchise), a “Bring Back Our Sonics” rally was held Thursday afternoon in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. In addition to a sea of thousands of Seattle Sonics supporters were former players Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, Detlef Schrempf and Slick Watts, and live music performances by groups like Presidents of the United States.
Also in attendance was the man behind the rally, Chris Hansen, who is leading an investment group that plans to build an arena and bring an NBA team back to Seattle. The rally was held to support the return of the NBA to Seattle and to add pressure to the Seattle City and King County councils to approve an arena plan.
When Hansen took the stage he told the crowd of thousands that he can’t wait to bring the Sonics back to Seattle.
As pointed out by the AP, other members of the group behind bringing the Sonics back to the Emerald City include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Erik and Peter Nordstrom. Construction for the project is estimated to require $290 million in private investment along with $200 million from city and county funds to be obtained through 30-year bonds.
Not surprisingly, any team coming to Seattle would be required to sign a non-relocation agreement keeping them there until at least all the bonds were repaid.
The rally and Sonics support took to Twitter en masse. Here’s a collection of a few tweets and Twitter photos of the thousands posted in response to the Sonics rally.