After the 2007-2008 season, the Seattle Supersonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. At the time, the move ended 40 years of Seattle basketball. In 2009 the Seattle Sounders took the field for the first time as a Major League Soccer franchise. The City embraced the soccer team and crowds in excess of 35k soon crowded Qwest Field to cheer on their franchise.
Right away, they signed an impressive local broadcast deal, allowing a revered local voice to bring Sounders soccer over the air (that didn’t work out). They also had an immediate a presence on cable. At the beginning of 2009, Fox Sports Northwest sponsored a weekly Sounders show and ran game replays. They have spent on players, including a DP, and have created an outstanding website. If MLS Executives were to imagine the perfect off the field scenario for an expansion team, Seattle, circa March 16, 2009 would be the dream.
The NBA’s relocation committee voted unanimously Monday to recommend that owners reject the application for the Sacramento Kings to relocate to Seattle. While the vote doesn’t guarantee that Seattle will forever be denied professional basketball, but it makes it highly unlikely that the Sacramento Kings will relocate to Seattle. For the Sounders, this means one less professional sports competitor in town.
There are only so many disposable sports dollars in any community and as unfortunate as the loss of basketball may be for many in Seattle, the absence of basketball could serve the Sounders well. With only baseball and football as professional sports competitors, the Sounders can retain their prominent role in the Seattle sports scene.
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