KeyArena to be renovated in efforts to lure NHL, NBA team to Seattle
KeyArena in Seattle will be renovated in order to lure to a NHL or an NBA team, city officials announced.
Seattle mayor Ed Murray and Tim Leiweke, Oak View Group CEO, the group selected to renovate the arena, agreed on memorandum of understanding (MOU) that has to be sent to the Seattle City Council for approval.
:We’re going to get you a team,” Leiweke said. “Mark it right here. I promise you … we’re going to get you at least one team.”
KeyArena opened in 1962 and attempts to renovate the aging arena in the past have failed. Part of the plans that Oak View Group submitted to the city in April include a $564 million proposal that would lower KeyArena's bowl about 15 feet within the existing roof structure.
The project could be completed by October 2020 and would have 18,350 seats for NBA games, 17,100 for NHL games and seat 19,100 for concerts.
The investment group, which added film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer and billionaire investment banker David Bonderman, is seeking at least $40 million in city taxes and revenues from the renovated arena.
The idea is for the Seattle to get a hockey team first and then begin their pursuit of an NBA team.
"I believe the NBA has been pretty clear that their owners have a pretty good TV contract that, financially, they don’t want to break up at this point," Murray said. "I do think the NHL will be here sooner than the NBA. But I think both of them will be here. I think this is the arena that will get us here.”
Seattle has been without a NBA team since the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City before the 2008 season. The NHL expanded this year adding the Vegas Golden Knights which will be begin play this upcoming season.