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Chris Hansen’s Group Unveils Pitch for KeyArena

KeyArena Renovation Rendering Chris Hansen

Chris Hansen‘s group is proposing its own renovation to KeyArena, a pitch that comes as Seattle officials continue to consider a separate plan from the Oak View Group

Earlier this year, Seattle revealed that it would enter into discussions with Oak View Group over its $564 million pitch to overhaul KeyArena into a venue that can meet modern NBA and NHL standards. Hansen, meanwhile, continues to propose the construction of a brand new arena in the city’s Sodo neighborhood, a plan that would require vacating a one-block stretch of South Occidential Avenue.

Hansen has introduced a new element to his plan by proposing his own renovation of KeyArena. His proposal calls for the construction of a new Sodo arena to move forward, while KeyArena is converted into a multi-venue facility. When completed, the project would result in the current KeyArena featuring several amenities, including a 6,200-seat indoor concert venue and a 3,000-seat outdoor covered amphitheater.

Renderings have been completed by HOK, and the proposal comes with a cost estimate in the range of $90 to $100 million, which would be privately financed. Members of Hansen’s group believe that the proposal can address concerns about what would happen to KeyArena if a new Sodo venue is built. More from King 5:

His partner, one-time Seattle Sonics owner and GM Wally Walker, said Thursday the offer was “reflective of people talking about their concerns with KeyArena being a white elephant with a new SODO arena built.”

Walker says they sought professional expertise, and “asked them to be creative.” Walker also says that his group’s feedback says that 90 percent of concerts want a 6,000-seat venue, and that Seattle is lacking for that type of facility.

“This would be the sweet spot,” he said.

Walker also said his group would do the work after construction of the SODO arena is complete.

Hansen submitted a written offer to the city on Thursday, and the Seattle City Council is expected to receive a draft of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Oak View Group next week. Oak View Group’s pitch was originally presented as part of a request for proposals (RFP) process that also saw a submission from Seattle Partners.

The deadline for responses to the RFP was April 12. In a statement issued on Thursday, the Seattle Office of Economic Development addressed Hansen’s proposal:

Oak View Group’s proposal was the strongest of the two, so they were selected. If the SODO Arena Group was interested in redeveloping KeyArena, they should have submitted their proposal during the RFP process, which would have shown a willingness to work with the City on this project. They did not submit a proposal and continue to show no interest in working in partnership with the City.

We are well underway negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oak View Group, and plan to transmit the MOU to Seattle City Council shortly. We are excited about the future of the Seattle Center Arena and grateful private investors are committed to investing more than half a billion dollars in a venue designed to attract the NBA, NHL and outstanding music and entertainment.

The RFP process regarding KeyArena renovations began in January, and Seattle announced in June that it would move forward with discussions with the Oak View Group.

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