Seattle Proposes $600M KeyArena Renovations to Attract NBA and NHL Teams

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2017

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 1:  A general view of the entrance to KeyArena before the NBA game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle SuperSonics on November 1, 2006 in Seattle, Washington. The Blazers won 110-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
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A group has a proposed deal with the city of Seattle for a privately funded $600 million plan to renovate KeyArena.

According to King 5's Chris Daniels, Oak View Group has an agreement to begin construction at Seattle Center next year to complete by 2020 for NBA and NHL use. They will file the Memorandum of Understanding to Seattle City Council on Tuesday.

Per Daniels, OVG is also investing $40 million in transportation mitigation and another $20 million toward a community fund. The group would hold a 39-year lease on the land, but it must spend at least $168 million in capital improvements to enact a pair of eight-year extensions.

In June, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray accepted the bid from OVG, funded by billionaire investment banker David Bonderman and Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  

"We're going to get you a team," OVG CEO Tim Leiweke told reporters following the winning bid. "Mark it right here. I promise you … we're going to get you at least one team."  

With the Las Vegas Knights added as an expansion team, the NHL has 31 teams, with one fewer franchise in the Western Conference than the Eastern Conference. A revamped stadium could make Seattle a top contender for another expansion squad.  

The city lost the SuperSonics in 2008 when the NBA organization relocated to Oklahoma City a year after drafting Kevin Durant. NBA spokesperson Mike Bass told Daniels the 30-team league "is not involved in the ongoing Seattle arena process, and we have no plans to expand at this time."  

KeyArena, the SuperSonics' former home, now houses the WNBA's Seattle Storm and NCAA's Seattle Redhawks.