Sonics One Step Closer To A Move

City Council members unanimously approved a preliminary lease agreement with the Seattle SuperSonics today, 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 today 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.

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