Eric Williams in his Tacoma News Tribune blog has posted a link to some court filings, including the points each side is planning to argue in the trial that is to begin June 16, 2008. Mr. Williams provides us with a brief outline and a link here (please, see his blog post here for more).
The cityâ€™s argument is pretty straight forward: The Sonics signed a lease to play all of its games in KeyArena until Sept. 2010. The KeyArena lease contains a specific performance clause stating that fact, and the city wants the team to honor its contractual obligation.
The city does not want to let the Sonics buy their way out of the lease because the city believes they are a unique tenant that cannot be replaced, and they bring intangible benefits to the city that cannot be reasonably calculated.
The Sonics will argue that the city will not be impacted economically by the team leaving and a buyout of the lease can be reasonably calculated. They also will argue that the city has unclean hands, pointing to its relationship with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmerâ€™s group that tried to get Clay Bennettâ€™s ownership group to sell the Sonics to them. The Sonics also will argue that the specific performance clause would impose undue hardship on the franchise.
The case as filed is 54 pages long, includes familiar arguments, some familiar names, and a table of exhibits that takes up nearly half of the document (please, click here for a direct link to the case document Mr. Williams has posted on the Tacoma News Tribune).
Mr. Williams also provides a link to the city's filing that argues for Mitch Levy and Sherman Alexie (you are going to have to go to his blog and click the link there, he did the work to get it and post it).
I do not have a problem with the team playing here, the players do not have a problem playing here, how the owner of the team feels about the city is not my problem, and not the court's problem. Suck it up Clay, crybaby.
I have clean hands, and that's all you need to know about me.