Background: Sale prompted by dispute over KeyArena renovation - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Background: Sale prompted by dispute over KeyArena renovation

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SEATTLE - The sale of the Sonics to an Oklahoma City follows a dispute between the team and Seattle over renovating Key Arena.

Sonics majority owner Howard Schultz says the team has lost about $60 million in the past five years and he blamed the lease and arrangements at the arena at the Seattle Center. The Sonics lease lasts until 2010. The team unsuccessfully lobbied the state Legislature, asking for an extension of taxes that helped build the Seahawks' Qwest Field and the Mariners' Safeco Field.

The Basketball Club of Seattle purchased the Sonics and the Seattle Storm in 2001 for $200  million.

The Sonics will begin their 40th season this fall.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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