Seattle will make a major decision regarding a proposed KeyArena renovation on Monday, when the city council is expected to vote on the issue.
City officials have been working with Oak View Group on the firm’s proposal for a privately-financed $600 million overhaul to KeyArena. If the project moves forward, it would raise the venue to modern NBA and NHL standards, and could prove instrumental in attracting one or both leagues to Seattle.
In November, a city council committee unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Oak View Group. That MOU will be considered by the full city council on Monday, December 4. It is also worth noting that the project has received the endorsement of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, a current KeyArena tenant. More from King5:
There is widespread belief among many people at City Hall that approval on Monday will send a strong signal to the National Hockey League about Seattle’s interest in housing a team in a new building on the Seattle Center campus. The NHL however, has remained mum on the possibilities. Two different franchises, in Calgary and Arizona, have current arena issues and the league has an uneven amount of teams in the West and East.
OVG has targeted opening their new Arena at Seattle Center by 2020, and Councilmember Mike O’Brien has previously hinted the OVG timeline was all about housing a new franchise.
One of the current tenants at KeyArena, the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, also indicated it is pleased with the city’s work on the building. In a November 28 letter to Council President Bruce Harrell, the Storm’s Ginny Gilder wrote that the franchise is “excited at the prospect of not only remaining at the arena our franchise has called home for its entire existence, but also of playing in an upgraded arena whose technology is state of the art and whose roof keep out all the rain.”
The vote will come one day after a previously-agreed-upon MOU with Chris Hansen–the developer who has been pitching a new arena in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood–expires. Estimates have called for the KeyArena renovation to be completed in 2020.
Rendering courtesy Oak View Group.
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