The Muckleshoot Tribe, which is a partner in Live Nation’s White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Wash., is actively courting the Seattle SuperSonics.
Sonics owner Clay Bennett met with tribal officials in February and now its council is having staff look at a potential partnership with the owner, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Talks include an arena on Muckleshoot property 24 miles from downtown Seattle.
Seattle activist Bob Santos is playing matchmaker, the paper said. He arranged for the February meeting at the home of Sonics coach Bill Russell after driving past the property.
"I said, ‘Jesus, that’s a parking lot there’ and I wish we could transfer all that property downtown," he told the Intelligencer. "And then it hit me – that’s the site of the arena."
If Seattle natives grouse about the drive to the new digs to see the NBA team, Santos had an answer: "It’s a heckuva lot closer than Oklahoma City."
Bennett has said he would likely move the team there if he didn’t get public financing for a new arena. The team currently plays in the aging KeyArena.
The Muckleshoot Tribe owns one of the state’s most popular casinos and bingo halls, the paper noted, and the site is close to hotels, restaurants and the SuperMall of the Great Northwest.