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Seattle Center Arena Construction Making Progress

Alaska Airlines Atrium Seattle NHL Arena

Construction on the Seattle Center Arena is making progress, as crews continue working on an elaborate project at the old KeyArena.

In a $930-million project led and financed by Oak View Group, the former KeyArena has become the site of major construction work. With an elaborate scope, the project calls for leaving KeyArena’s distinguished roof line intact, while digging 15 feet below the floor and widening the base of the venue. This will result in more interior space and modern facilities under the original roof.

Currently expected to be completed in the middle of 2021, the venue will be home to the WNBA’s Seattle Storm as well as an upcoming Seattle NHL expansion franchise that begins play in the fall of 2021. For now, construction work continues to move along, as project officials explained on Tuesday. More from King 5:

Gone are the entrances and exits on both sides of the old KeyArena, which now are hanging in midair. Crews have dug down and removed the dirt. The old parking area on the south side of the building is gone, as is the skate park on the southeast side.   

Crews have removed nearly 75% of the needed dirt to build a new bowl 53 feet below ground, doubling the size of the old Arena. In order to accomplish it all, Mortenson also had to build out 72 temporary steel columns to support the roof, and a steel reinforcement structure called ‘the kickstand.” On top of that, the suspended roof also had sensors in it designed to detect high wind and seismic activity.

“It is the result of thousands of hours of engineering,” said Greg Huber, Mortenson’s Project Executive. “There hasn’t been anything quite like this.”

The arena will also be used for a wide variety of events in addition to NHL and WNBA action, including concerts. It is also being designed to accommodate an NBA franchise, making it a potential home should Seattle eventually be able to secure its first team in the league since the Sonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008.

Renderings courtesy NHL Seattle.

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