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The Seattle SuperSonics Almost Moved to Kentucky

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In 1989, the Sonics wanted a new arena, and they almost got one... in northern Kentucky.

In 1989, then-Sonics owner Barry Ackerly had grown tired of the Seattle Center Coliseum as a venue for the team. Ackerly wanted to keep the team in Seattle, but was requesting a new arena and, as is their way, the City Council was not on board with the idea. Rumors of the team relocating began to mount.

Meanwhile, a developer from Lexington, Kentucky named Dudley Webb was trying to bring a basketball team to the state. The Sonics became his target. A Cincinnati-area radio host named Andy Furman began to spread the word of Webb's plans. Furman gathered together a group of local investors and politicians to support the idea. While the Coliseum in Cincinnati was ruled out when potential owner Les Alexander (who now owns the Houston Rockets) dubbed it "a dump."

However, Furman caught wind of Northern Kentucky University's plans of building a new arena in Frankfort. He took the radio waves to drum up support for financing for the arena. He said that the planned 10,000 seat arena could be adjusted to accommodate 19.000 for the NBA. The arena was finally built, although not until 2007 and with only 9,000 seats, not big enough for an NBA team. The Sonics eventually got a rebuilt Coliseum, renamed KeyArena, and stayed in town (until... well, you know).

Now, twenty-five years later, Furman is still trying to get an NBA team in Kentucky. He is working with a group of organizers working to bring a team to Louisville and the KFC Yum! Center. In a recent interview with the River City News, Furman said:

"The NBA TV contract runs out 2015-16, and it looks like the NBA is going to expand to two more teams. They're talking about Seattle and one other team and I figure that other team may be Louisville."

This, of course, vibes with what this site reported back in July. While it's unknown if Furman is working with J. Bruce Miller, it's safe to say that there is definitely a contingent working to bring the NBA back to the Bluegrass State. From what is being reported, the Emerald City could be right there with them.