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"Sonicsgate: Requiem For A Team" launches on Hulu
Seattle's NBA saga continues as a new arena investor group breaks its silence, Kevin Durant headlines the All-Star Game and Howard Schultz puts his face on the cover of TIME Magazine
By: Green And Gold Media
The film exposes scandalous corporate dealings and political failures that led to the SuperSonics NBA team's 2008 relocation to Oklahoma City after 41 years in Seattle. Exclusive interviews, federal court documents and unearthed archive footage pace this riveting case study on the business of pro basketball.
The full 44-minute film is now available for ad-supported free streaming on Hulu as well as its subscription service Hulu Plus.
One of the documentary's lead antagonists is Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is featured on the cover of TIME Magazine this month. Schultz sold the Sonics to Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett for $350 million in 2006. The TIME article portrays Schultz as a visionary business leader with political ambitions, but his true colors emerge in "Sonicsgate"
Last year's league MVP Kevin Durant and 2008 Sonics draft pick Russell Westbrook will represent the Oklahoma City Thunder in this Sunday's NBA All-Star Game, twisting the knife further into Sonics fans since both players were drafted as Seattle SuperSonics. Durant played the 2007-08 season in Seattle, earning Rookie of the Year honors, and Sonics drafted Westbrook less than one month before relocating to OKC.
Seattle's roller coaster NBA saga continued this week, as a new investor group broke its silence regarding the rumored alternate arena proposals in Seattle suburbs Tukwila and Bellevue. According to Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times, this investor group represents competition to Chris Hansen's arena plan in the SoDo neighborhood adjacent to Seattle's two existing stadiums. More details about the new group: http://seattletimes.com/
Hansen's SoDo arena plan remains relevant, having cleared many political hurdles since its proposal in 2011. The Seattle City Council and King County Council voted to approve the SoDo Arena MOU though 2017 pending a final Environmental Impact Study, which has seen repeated delays in the past year.
According to the MOU, Hansen would need to acquire an NBA team before breaking ground on the SoDo arena. Specific financing language of the MOU would need to be amended for an NHL-first model.
While the NHL has expressed some interest in expanding to Seattle, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has stated that his league has no plans to expand in the near future, meaning that a Seattle NBA team would likely need to come via relocation.
Hansen had a signed agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings franchise from the Maloof brothers and move it to Seattle in 2013. But Mayor Kevin Johnson put together a plan to publicly fund a new arena at the last minute, and then-NBA Commissioner David Stern helped persuade the league's owners keep the Kings in Sacramento.
After the Kings sale fell through, Hansen's partner Steve Ballmer went on to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers for a record $2 Billion in 2014, but he says he will keep the team in the LA market.
Elected officials in Milwaukee are currently evaluating proposals to fund and build a new Bucks arena before the NBA's 2017 deadline.
About The Film
In 2012, the producers re-cut the film into a licensable 44-minute version titled "Sonicsgate:
More info at http://www.sonicsgate.com