SEATTLE (AP) -A group of local investors has offered to buy the SuperSonics in response to a threat by the team's owner to move Seattle's oldest major league professional sports franchise to Oklahoma City.
The group headed by Dennis H. Daugs, a private wealth manager and managing director of Lakeside Capital Management LLC, issued a news release Friday saying the group had written a formal letter of interest to Sonics owner Clay Bennett of Oklahoma City, who also owns the Seattle Storm of the WNBA.
Bennett is unhappy with Key Arena and has threatened to move the club unless an agreement was reached to build a new stadium by Wednesday. He has not addressed the club's future since the deadline passed.
``We want to recapture the spirit and love of basketball in Seattle by bringing the Sonics and Storm back to local ownership,'' said Daugs, a former minority owner of the NBA franchise.
The statement did not identify anyone else in the group and Daugs didn't name other members Thursday in an interview with The Seattle Times. How much the group would bid also was unclear.
Bennett, who bought the Sonics from a local group headed by Starbucks Coffee chairman Howard Schultz for $350 million last year, has said the club is not for sale. Schultz's group paid $200 million for the franchise in 2001.
``This town loves the Sonics and Storm,'' Daugs said in the statement. ``We have a genuine appreciation of the fan base. We respect the many loyal fans and we want to build a populist movement to keep the teams here. We believe there is strong local support for the Sonics and Storm.''
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