OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -A trial that likely will determine where the Seattle SuperSonics play next season will begin June 16 as scheduled.
U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle on Tuesday denied a motion by the team's owners for her to rule on how much money Seattle could be awarded in damages should the Sonics leave the city before the start of next season.
She said such a request could have been made earlier than six weeks before the start of the trial. Pechman has said she will decide the case after hearing six days of evidence.
Attorneys for the city of Seattle had said that if the judge allowed the money issue to be a part of the trial, the case could be delayed six months, guaranteeing the Sonics would play in Seattle next season.
The team's Oklahoma City-based ownership group wants to pay off the final two years of its lease to use Seattle's KeyArena and move the team to Oklahoma City for next season. The city of Seattle is suing to force the team to fulfill the lease.
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