City leaders say NBA vote is best hope to secure team 

Oklahoma City businessman and Seattle SuperSonics ownership group leader Clay Bennett wants to bring the NBA team to Oklahoma City. But is it a lock that if Tuesday's sales-tax extension passes, Oklahoma City gets a team?

"We have applied to relocate to Oklahoma City. That is specific in our application," Bennett told Oklahoma Gazette. "You should vote for this because these are great improvements to the building to make it viable and help us for a long time with or without the team. But we have to have it to get the team." 

OKC leaders tout the plan as the best method for the city to pay for the improvements and bring an NBA team to town.

"We talked with our consultant "¦ and they really set the expectations for us," said City Manager Jim Couch. "They indicated to us where revenue potential is and where it is not. When you start looking at the models for other teams and other cities we have to compete against, it's pretty apparent."

The city used well-known, Boston-based sports management consultant Game Plan LLC for guidance on raising funds for the NBA improvements. Other revenue options to help fund the renovations could include:
" bond issues,
" ticket sales and
" private investment.

But Couch said those options are not suitable for Oklahoma City.

"You hear, 'Why not do this through the tickets you charge?' Well, one, that would not generate enough money," he said. "Whether it's the tickets or the team paying for it, there's only so much those tickets can be. That's money coming out of their pocket, and that is not enough to fund it. That's why that doesn't work." "Scott Cooper

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