Seattle Mayor 'Pretty Optimistic' About NBA's Return to City Amid Expansion Buzz

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2021

Stacks of Seattle SuperSonics caps sit in a shop near where a proposed NBA arena is set to be built Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in Seattle. NBA owners voted Wednesday to reject the Sacramento Kings' proposed move to Seattle, the latest in a long line of cities that have tried to land the franchise.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan believes the NBA could be returning to the city soon after speaking with Commissioner Adam Silver.

"I think it was a very positive conversation," Durkan told Chris Daniels of King 5. "I think he has said publicly that Seattle is at the top of the list. Look, if there's basketball karma, we'll get the Sonics. If there's economics involved, we'll get the Sonics. If there's just smart, what's the best city in America, we'll get the Sonics. So, I'm pretty optimistic."

Seattle has been looking for a new NBA team since the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008.

One of the issues for Seattle was the poor condition of Key Arena, but a new NBA team could now share Climate Pledge Arena, the upcoming home of the NHL expansion Seattle Kraken and WNBA's Seattle Storm.

Silver has been considering two expansion teams and "floated" the idea of a $2.5 billion cost for each, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

It also comes after Silver said "Seattle will be at the top of the list" in a December interview with Jalen Rose.

Durkan believes there are already top options in place for owners, including Kraken majority owner David Bonderman and Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke, who helped build the new arena in Seattle.

"I don't think that the right ownership group will necessarily be the obstacle," Durkan said. "I think that getting the owners to the place where they're willing to do it, making a price that is one that's market reasonable is going to be the real challenge."