Now that it is set to host a major NCAA in 2019, KeyArena may have to wait for a renovation project to begin.
Earlier this week, the NCAA announced that KeyArena will host games in the first and second rounds of the 2019 men’s basketball tournament. That announcement was made days after concepts to overhaul the arena that had been submitted to the City of Seattle in response to a request for proposal (RFP) were unveiled.
The plans enclosed in those bids–from the Oak View Group and AEG, the latter of which has formed Seattle Partners–are fairly elaborate in scope. If the city ultimately moves forward with either plan, KeyArena could be overhauled to modern NBA and NHL standards as Seattle sees it if can land a team in one or both of those leagues.
With the NCAA set to come in the spring of 2019, however, some are wondering if the timeline for a renovation will be affected, and ultimately mean that the project is not completed until at least 2021. Seattle officials, however, say it is too early to determine whether a scheduling conflict will arise. More from The Seattle Times:
All indications are the city is standing by its guarantees that the venue would be available for hosting some of the tournament’s first- and second-round games, meaning construction on a major remodel likely couldn’t begin until late spring of 2019.
“It is too soon to determine if there would be a scheduling conflict with proposed KeyArena redevelopment,” Joe Mirabella, a spokesman for the city’s Request for Proposals (RFP) process to renovate the 55-year-old facility, said in a written statement. “City staff are currently reviewing the RFPs and proposed development timelines for each proposal to build a world class arena in Seattle.”
The Oak View Group (OVG), a Los Angeles-based company headed by Tim Leiweke that has submitted a $564 million renovation proposal, has said the arena could be ready for NBA and NHL use by the start of both leagues’ seasons in October 2020. Leiweke has said it would take about two years to build the arena once all permissions are obtained.
Seattle Partners, a combination of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and Hudson Pacific Properties, has stated it would take “24-to-26 months” to carry out its $520 million renovation plan once approved.
The tournament games are scheduled for March 22 and 24, 2019.
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