MYNORTHWEST BLOG

Mayor Harrell latest to pick up the torch on years-long effort to bring back the Sonics

Mar 30, 2022, 9:42 AM | Updated: 9:42 am
Mayor Bruce Harrell, Sonics...
Seattle Mayor Harrell speaking at the 60th anniversary of the Monorail. (Office of the Mayor, Twitter)
(Office of the Mayor, Twitter)

The Sonics played their last game in Seattle in April of 2008, and in the years since, rumors of their return have swirled regularly. Now, Mayor Bruce Harrell is the latest city leader to take up the cause.

Sonics’ Lenny Wilkens immortalized in namesake at Climate Pledge Arena

Talk of a potential expansion team in Seattle has come up as recently as 2021, when then-Mayor Jenny Durkan expressed how she was “pretty optimistic” about discussions she’d had with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. That was buoyed by a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst stating the conditions appeared to be “favorable” for the return of the Sonics, particularly as the league sought to recoup lost revenue from the pandemic. A year prior, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps said that Seattle was also likely to be “first in line” if the NBA did eventually expand past 30 teams in the near future.

In a speech delivered as part of a 60th anniversary celebration for the Seattle Monorail this week, Mayor Bruce Harrell again stoked the flames.

“Some of us remember when we would get on this thing and go to a Sonics game,” he recounted. “I’m not going to start any rumors, but we are working on that.”

Rumors or not, past mentions of efforts to bring the Sonics back home have almost always raised questions, with Harrell’s office clarifying his comment in a subsequent statement to MyNorthwest on Wednesday, pointing out that he “frequently met with leaders and groups committed to the team’s return” during his time on city council.

“Mayor Harrell recognizes the tremendous and lasting impact of the Sonics on building community morale and civic pride across Seattle,” spokesperson Jamie Housen wrote. “He’s continuing those discussions to ensure the Mayor’s Office and City of Seattle are active and engaged in efforts to bring the Sonics back.”

O’Neil: NBA owner makes a Seattle Sonics expansion sound inevitable

It’s been reported that in order to secure an expansion team, an ownership group would need to pay roughly $2.5 billion dollars in addition to having an NBA-caliber arena. With the newly-renovated Climate Pledge Arena opening to the public in October of 2021 — and currently playing host to the Kraken and Storm — the hope is that at least one major piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.

Whether that will finally see a years-long wish from Seattle sports fans come to fruition remains to be seen.

MyNorthwest Blog

Bruce Harrell...
Nick Bowman

Harrell aims to ‘hit reset’ on strained relationship between Seattle mayor, city council

In his State of the City address, Mayor Bruce Harrell highlighted his hope to repair the strained relationship between his office and Seattle City Council.
3 months ago
ktth, bryan suits...
KTTH staff

KTTH debuts ‘Bryan Suits Show’ weekday mornings

Bryan Suits returns to Seattle airwaves as part of a new lineup on AM 770 KTTH. 'The Bryan Suits Show' airs weekday mornings from 6–9 a.m.
3 months ago
pet names...
Stephanie Klein

Top dog and cat names in King County last year

King County released its 2021 list of most popular pet names and 'Bella' and 'Luna' came out on top.
4 months ago
Seattle election results, Seattle City Hall...
Nick Bowman

What Seattle can expect in new year with shakeups at city hall on the horizon

Seattle City Hall is in for a shakeup at the start of the new year, with a new mayor, councilmember, and city attorney all taking office in January.
5 months ago
unvaccinated officers Seattle...
Nick Bowman

Durkan, Seattle council engage in one final clash in closing days of mayoral term

With Jenny Durkan set to leave office in a matter of days, she and the council appear to have engaged in one final feud, this time over trees. 
5 months ago
Happy Holidays to all in 2021!...
MyNorthwest Staff

Happy Holidays from everyone at KIRO Radio, KTTH, and 710 ESPN Seattle

Your favorite cast of characters from KIRO Radio, AM 770 KTTH, and 710 ESPN Seattle present "A Visit from St. Nicholas."
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Mayor Harrell latest to pick up the torch on years-long effort to bring back the Sonics