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Oak View Group Selected for Possible KeyArena Project

Seattle Arena Oak View Group

KeyArena could be in line for a renovation, as Seattle mayor Ed Murray revealed on Wednesday that the Oak View Group has been selected to redevelop the venue.

In response to a request for proposal (RFP) that was issued by the city, Oak View Group pitched a $564 million makeover to KeyArena that would bring the venue to modern NBA and NHL standards. Among its notable proposals, Oak View Group has suggested preserving KeyArena’s roof while digging down 15 feet to expand the venue to 660,000 square feet.

Wednesday’s announcement also saw the introduction of two new partners in the project, as Boston Celtics minority owner David Bonderman and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer are joining the effort, which could help attract an NHL team.

Oak View Group and Seattle Partners–which consisted of AEG and Hudson Pacific Properties–had both responded to the RFP, but Seattle Partners announced earlier this week that it was pulling out of the process. Seattle and the Oak View Group will now move forward with negotiations, but plenty of work will need to be completed for any agreement to become final. The same goes for the NBA and NHL, as progress will have to be made to land a team in either league. More from King 5:

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, “We have been made aware of Mr. Bonderman’s potential interest as part of the Oak View Group’s bid to renovate Key Arena. But we have had no substantive talks with him or anyone else with respect to a potential franchise in Seattle, nor do we have current plans to have such talks. It is not something that is under consideration at this time.”

NBA Spokesman Mike Bass said, “The NBA is not involved in the ongoing Seattle arena process, and we have no plans to expand at this time.”

Murray said the entire process is not a done deal, and issues do have to be worked out, including the financing structure. He noted that OVG will have to pay for any cost overruns since “it is going to be their facility, and they are responsible for the cost overruns,” but “I think we’re going to get there.”

As it has considered a new or dramatically renovated arena, Seattle has seen multiple options proposed. Seattle Partners and Oak View Group had both been, until recently, in the running to upgrade KeyArena, while developer Chris Hansen’s proposal for a new arena in the city’s Sodo neighborhood remains on the table. At an event on Wednesday night, Hansen gave his reaction to the announcement. More from Q13 Fox:

“I’ll tip my cap to Tim [Leiweke] and the Oak View Group if they actually are able to solve the problems that are around there (KeyArena) and get the arena done and on-time and on-budget,” he said during a forum hosted by the Seattle City Club on Wednesday night. “I think our job here is to sit back and be patient, see how things transpire over the next few months.”

An earlier arena proposal for Sodo by Hansen was rejected by the Seattle City Council last May. Since then, Hansen has offered to privately finance the arena, with tax breaks, provided that a one block stretch of South Occidential Avenue is vacated for the arena’s construction.

Rendering courtesy Oak View Group. 

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