Friday, January 22, 2010

Nearing the End...(SONICS)

Per the Seattle Times and other media outlets, the final chapter in the Sonics exit from Seattle is coming to a close.

The article states that the final lawsuit against the former Sonics organization (the lawsuit for which I am a named plaintiff) has been submitted to the court for settlement.

According to the article, should the judge accept the settlement, those season ticket holders who qualified will share a $1.6M settlement distribution. A certain number of ticket holders were excluded from the suit as it was determined that the equivalent seats in OKC sold for the same or less than the guaranteed Emerald Club pricing which was at the center of the suit. The key is that the judge ruled that the defendants violated the terms of the contract allowing Emerald Club pricing guaranteed for 2 additional seasons at the price paid for those tickets in the Sonics last year in Seattle. He then sent the case to a Seattle jury to determine damages. Only those ticket holders who were unable to realize a gain on the asset (OKC ticket buyers paid more for the tickets than the Seattle people would have paid) were included.

There is no true vindication for Seattle fans with regards to this settlement.

In spirit, the settlement indicates that even the NBA is not allowed to make false commitments to their customers in order to secure their business.

It does not address the poor way Seattle fans were treated. It does not address the many questions about the fairness of the relocation. It does not make me feel any better about losing my other basketball team.

It does prove that it is in the NBA's best interest to treat its fans with honesty when it takes their money. Unfortunately, in many respects that is a hollow "victory" purely based on business for something that is by far more emotional for any true fan.

In the end though, it does mean closure, at least for me. My period of grieving is over, I have moved on. Now my last stray thoughts on this issue can fade to join the emotions that have already faded at least for me.

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