Sonics one step closer to a move

By: AP
By: AP

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- City Council members unanimously approved a preliminary lease agreement with the Seattle SuperSonics Tuesday, contingent on the team's relocation to Oklahoma City.

The vote was held just hours before a planned visit by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The 15-year deal calls for the SuperSonics to pay the city $1.6 million dollars annually to use the Ford Center and another $409,000 per year to be able to re-sell the arena's naming rights.

Stern and four NBA team owners are expected to visit the city later Tuesday to gather information for a league vote next month on whether the Sonics can relocate.

The Sonics' lease in Seattle runs through 2010, and a federal trial is scheduled for June to determine whether the team can break it.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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