The folks over at Save Our Sonics and Storm apparently have reviewed the KeyArena lease agreement between the Sonics and the city of Seattle and have come to this shocking conclusion: A signed lease actually is a binding agreement.
After careful review of the lease agreement between supersonics and the City of Seattle , there is a clear and unambiguous provision providing either party may specifically enforce the obligations of the other party.The release goes on to stipulate that it's up to the mayor's office to enforce the lease agreement.
PAGE 59 PARAGRAPH L OF THE LEASE STATES:
ENFORCEMENT OF THIS AGREEMENT: THE OBLIGATIONS OF PARTIES TO THIS AGREEMENT ARE UNIQUE IN NATURE; THIS AGREEMENT MAY BE SPECIFICALLY ENFORCED BY EITHER PARTY.
While it's not ideal to have a ticked off owner for a tenant -- inevitably what would happen if the city chose to enforce the lease agreement -- what it could definitely do is buy the city/county/state some time to get their crap together and figure out a workable solution to keep the team longterm.
The city better think long and hard, though, about whether it wants to get in that kind of a pissing match with Clay Bennett. The man strikes me as the kind of guy just stubborn enough to slash payroll and put out a terrible product to sabotage attendance so nobody in Seattle makes any money off this team before running to the NBA and saying, "See, I told you I couldn't make any money in Seattle -- let me move the franchise." Then moves it to another city, resurrecting the franchise's value and making a tidy profit whenever he decides to sell it.
No matter how this press release appears, Bennett still holds all the leverage.