In a crucial vote on Friday, a committee approved the KeyArena renovation plan, allowing the proposal to proceed to the full Seattle City Council.
The Oak View Group is planning a privately financed $700 million renovation to KeyArena. Under the current time frame, the renovation could be completed in 2020, and it is slated to raise the venue to modern NBA and NHL standards. In fact, an effort to land an NHL expansion team for the venue is underway, as billionaire David Bonderman and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are currently leading a bid that is working to gain approval from the league.
The proposal for the renovation cleared a hurdle on Friday, when the Select Committee on Civic Arenas voted unanimously to forward it to the full city council. That means it will be considered for final approval by the city council on September 24, just ahead of a key October 2 meeting that includes the NHL Seattle group, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, and the NHL executive committee. More from the Seattle Times:
“You think about 14 years of frustration for this community,” NHL Seattle president and CEO Tod Leiweke said in an interview after the 7-0 vote. “And this is a world class community and it’s going to get a world class arena out of it.”…
Getting the council to fully sign off on the arena renovation ahead of the NHL executive committee meeting Oct. 2 is seen as paramount to the franchise gaining approval.
“This is going to bring Seattle Center back to being the center of Seattle,” Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said just before Friday’s vote to forward the package to the full council.
Only two council members — Mike O’Brien and Kshama Sawant — did not attend Friday’s meeting. Given the unanimous approval of the voting package Friday by the seven other councilmembers, the likelihood of the project being defeated in a full council vote Sept. 24 seems remote.
It has been anticipated that the NHL expansion bid could be considered and ultimately approved by the league’s board of governors in December, with the 2020-21 season being the earliest that the team would begin play. That date is not finalized, however, and more certainty should emerge if/when the expansion bid is approved.
Rendering courtesy Oak View Group.
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