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Stars aligning to bring basketball back to Seattle

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Sonics, again; or maybe something from Seattle’s new era?

KeyArena on a cloudy day with the Space Needle in the background

The re-imagining of the KeyArena has begun, though at this point that is all it is, imaginings. The request for proposal was released and undoubtedly several teams are preparing their responses. One key specification is that the new space meet NBA requirements. While the city and the NBA have been in discussions for years, some people are running out of patience.

State Sen. Michael Baumgartner, chair of the Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee, announced a committee work session on return of the Sonics. That’s more specific than Seattle getting any NBA team, but there’s history there which will probably help. For the Senator, this isn’t just a Seattle issue. He represents the Spokane area and sees benefits throughout the state.

Arena fatigue is one reason given for why the Sonics left Seattle. After blowing up the Kingdome, building a stadium for the Seahawks, another for the Mariners, the public was just a bit too tired to take on one for basketball, too.

Then came the Recession, when such ideas weren’t popular.

Now comes the boom, when anything seems possible.

The arena is preparing for an NBA team, without being specific about the team or the name. The Legislature is preparing the way for the Sonics to return, but may have to consider more than one location that has the history associated with it. It will be interesting if the two efforts complement each other. The timing seems right. The various pieces are in motion. Maybe it will all come together.

If they need a new name, how about the Boomers? Sonic. Boom. Seattle’s growth spurt. The noise Seattle fans are known for. Get it?