SEATTLE – Two arena companies have pitched multimillion-dollar plans to remake Seattle’s KeyArena into a premier entertainment venue that’s ready for an NBA or NHL team.
Seattle had received two proposals ahead of Wednesday’s deadline for bids to renovate the 55-year-old city-owned facility. KeyArena was the former home of the SuperSonics before the basketball team bolted for Oklahoma City in 2008.
In January, city officials sought proposals to reimagine KeyArena into a facility that attracts more music, entertainment and sports events, including a potential NBA or NHL team. Developers would be responsible for all costs for redevelopment and construction.
Los Angeles-based Oak View Group on Wednesday submitted a $564 million plan that calls for the arena to be renovated by October 2020 and ready for the following NBA or NHL seasons, the Seattle Times reported.
Another proposal comes from Los Angeles-based arena giant AEG which teamed up with Hudson Pacific Properties, a real estate development company. They say their arena will be built to attract and accommodate future NBA and NHL teams.
Both companies have secured key corporate partnerships that could help them lure a professional hockey team to the Seattle market, the Times reported.
Oak View Group has signed a contract with Delaware North, a concessionaire company owned by Jeremy Jacobs who is chairman of the NHL’s board of governors.
Hudson Pacific is run by Victor Coleman, who has not hidden his desire to bring an NHL team to Seattle, KING-TV reported.
Meanwhile, investor Chris Hansen is still trying to get an arena built on land he owns near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, the two current pro sports stadiums in town. He has become the choice of fans who are tired of delays stalling the process as Hansen has faced opposition from some city officials and maritime interests.
A city advisory panel is expected to review KeyArena proposals and make a recommendation to Mayor Ed Murray in June. The city council would then decide whether to renovate KeyArena or go with a separate, new arena pitched for the city’s stadium district by Hansen, according to the Times.
KeyArena, which opened its doors in 1962, was last renovated in 1995. It is home to WNBA’s Seattle Storm and hosts dozens of concerts and other events. It had about 570,000 visitors last year.
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