Now that Chris Hansen has secured a tentative agreement with the City of Seattle to build a new arena and fans are celebrating with a free round of beer, the next question is will former Sonics announcer Kevin Calabro call the games?
“I’ll be about one in about a million applicants. They wouldn’t have to move me back into town, so I’m probably at the top of the list,” Calabro tells KIRO FM.
While Calabro, who chose to keep his family in Seattle when the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City, is thrilled things are moving in the right direction, he’s also not fully convinced it’ll happen.
The host of the Kevin Calabro Show on 710 ESPN Seattle is cautious until the full city council has voted and it’s a done deal.
“It’s only been four years that the council stood there with (Seattle Mayor Greg) Nickels with a smile on their faces and announced for $45 million that the KeyArena had been taken care of, the debt had been paid, and the Sonics were moving to Oklahoma City,” Calabro recalls. “Seven of those nine council members are still on the council.”
A city council committee will review the plan and vote on the proposal Thursday. Final council approval is expected later this month. The King County Council will then have to approve any changes to the agreement and hold a full council vote.
Both county councilmembers Joe McDermott and Peter von Reichbauer said Tuesday they look forward to moving forward in the process.
“I look forward to working with my council colleagues to review the details of the City’s proposal, with an eye to both the community and fiscal impacts,” said McDermott.
So Calabro says it’ll be a while before we can even think about playoffs and trophies because it’ll also greatly depend on which NBA team is relocated to Seattle and at which point.
“The league has made it clear that there will be no expansion team anytime soon,” he says.
Having an NBA team back in Seattle means a return of history, even if people don’t love basketball like Calabro.
“I came here in ’87. I know that if I had grown up and witnessed the Sonics in ’67 and had gone to that championship in 1979 or been a part of that parade in downtown Seattle, it would have absolutely crushed me when they moved four years ago.”
Calabro says getting the Sonics back is like any other Seattle icon, Space Needle or otherwise, coming home. It’s woven into the city’s history.
Kevin Calabro can be heard on 710 ESPN Seattle 3pm to 7pm Monday through Friday.