Seattle approves $700 million overhaul of KeyArena in bid for NHL expansion team, potential future NBA team

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The Seattle city council approved a deal to renovate KeyArena, marking a major step in the city’s quest to land an NHL expansion team. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
The Seattle city council approved a deal to renovate KeyArena, marking a major step in the city’s quest to land an NHL expansion team. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to approve a $700 million renovation of KeyArena on Monday afternoon, according to The Seattle Times.

The move will allow the Oak View Group to demolish the current arena and replace it with a new facility, which is likely the final step in the city’s bid to land an NHL team in Seattle.

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“We’re starting a new day here in the city and a new partnership,” Councilmember Debora Juarez told the Seattle Times.

Per the report, the group plans to spend $700 million on the new facility. It will preserve the current roof at KeyArena, and will seat between 17,000 and 19,000 people.

Demolition of the current arena will take place only after the NHL Board of Governors officially awards Seattle an NHL franchise for the 2020-2021 season — which could happen shortly after the group pitches it’s plan to the NHL executive committee next month.

The new arena and a future NHL team is also a good step in Seattle’s quest to land an NBA team again — something Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke said they will “continue to push aggressively for.” The city has longed for a NBA team since the Seattle SuperSonics — who played at KeyArena — left Seattle in 2008 and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Key Arena, which was last renovated in 1995 and seats up to 16,000 people, currently hosts the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and the Seattle University’s men’s basketball team.

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