To accommodate construction on a KeyArena renovation, the Seattle Storm will call the University of Washington’s Alaska Airlines Arena its primary home for the 2019 WNBA season.
Oak View Group is planning a $700 million renovation to KeyArena that will raise the venue to modern NBA and NHL standards. The Storm will relocate due to the renovation and complete shutdown of the facility, set to take place in 2019 and 2020.
“The University of Washington and Huskies Athletic Department are incredible partners during the Seattle Center Arena redevelopment,” said Storm President & GM Alisha Valavanis. “Entering our 20th season as a franchise, we are hopeful and excited to have our stellar fan base fill the seats at the University of Washington Alaska Airlines Arena. Our goal was to keep the Storm in Seattle and this beautiful partnership makes that possible!”
This move takes effect with the 2019 season, so the Storm will still play upcoming home playoff games at KeyArena. The 2018 WNBA Playoffs are slated to start August 21 with the first of two single-elimination games. Seattle, who owns a double-bye into the semifinals, will host the first two games of the best-of-five semifinals series on August 26 and August 28 at KeyArena, and an if-necessary game five on September 4, also at KeyArena.
“We are excited to host a portion of the Storm’s 2019 home season here in Alaska Airlines Arena,” University of Washington Athletic Director Jen Cohen said. “The partnership embodies our commitment to cultivating relationships within the Seattle community. Being an active member of a world-class city that has such a strong collegiate and professional presence makes this one of the most unique markets in the country and we are grateful to maintain strong bonds with the professional organizations in Seattle.”
The full 2019 Seattle Storm schedule will be announced in accordance with the WNBA releasing the 2019 schedule at a later date. Seattle’s preseason schedule will also be released at a later date.
“This partnership between the Seattle Storm and the University of Washington cements the fact that Seattle has the best sports teams – supported by the best fans – in the world,” said City of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “While I look forward to the Storm returning to a world-class facility at the new Seattle Center Arena, I’ll be rooting for our world championship Storm in their temporary home at Alaska Airlines Arena.”
RELATED STORIES: Seattle Storm at KeyArena: A History