Seattle City Council approves plan to redevelop KeyArena


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David Dow / National Basketball Association / Getty

The Emerald City has taken a significant step toward securing potential NHL and NBA franchises in the future.

Seattle City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group for the proposed $600-million, privately financed redevelopment of KeyArena.

Council voted 7-1 on Monday to approve the proposal. The L.A.-based Oak View Group plans to finish the project as soon as October 2020, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.

The vote authorized Mayor Jenny Durkan to “execute an agreement with Oak View Group to redevelop KeyArena into a world-class multipurpose sports and entertainment arena,” Seattle City Council announced on Twitter following the proceedings.

Here are the specifics of OVG’s renovation plan:

There is “widespread belief” at city hall that Leiweke’s group will make a serious pitch to the NHL to be an anchor tenant in the new facility, according to KING 5’s Chris Daniels.

Monday’s vote could also open the door for the NBA’s return to Seattle. The SuperSonics played in KeyArena for three separate tenures in their history before the team relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008.

The arena currently houses the WBNA’s Seattle Storm and the Seattle University Redhawks basketball program.

Leiweke is the former president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, NHL’s Maple Leafs, and MLS’ Toronto FC. He is also the former president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, part of the NBA’s Lakers, and MLS’ LA Galaxy.

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December 5, 2017

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