Seattle announcing plans to renovate KeyArena in hopes of luring NBA, NHL team.

By Scooby Axson
September 12, 2017

Seattle city officials and the Oak View Group are set to announce an agreement to renovate an arena at Seattle Center that will be privately financed, reports King 5.

The initial total cost of the project is estimated to be about $600 million. 

A Memorandum of Understanding will be submitted to the Seattle City Council on Tuesday, which calls for construction on the new arena to start next year and be completed by 2020.

Oak View Group, based in Los Angeles, has committed $60 million to the plan, with $40 million going to a transportation mitigation around Seattle Center and the rest being set aside for a community fund.

Seattle is offering a nearly four-decade lease with Oak View Group, with several renewal options. The lease renewal will be in effect only if Oak View spends at least $168 million in KeyArena capital improvements and the city acquires NBA and NHL teams.

The city also gets an equal net revenue that they are currently receiving from KeyArena.

Two years ago, the city was close to bringing NBA team back to the city and adding an NHL team after a final environmental impact statement found no significant obstacles to block a new proposed arena.

That statement called for an 18,000-seat arena to be built and opened by 2018 in the city’s stadium district, near Safeco Field, home of MLB’s Seattle Mariners.

The city's Economic Development Director Brian Surratt said the construction timeline was adequate, but it is possible that they must work with the NCAA to reschedule their agreement to host the 2019 Men’s basketball regional.

The 55-year-old KeyArena's only professional sports occupants are the WNBA's Seattle Storm. It was the home arena of the SuperSonics before they moved to Oklahoma City after the 2008 season.

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