Seattle Council member Mike O’Brien propositioned a $660 million proposal to make renovations to the 55-year-old KeyArena.
The Los Angeles based “Oak Viewed Group” plans to put up the funding at a weekly morning briefing on Monday Nov. 6. The renovation of KeyArena had been decided earlier this year. However, the decision on who is going to make these renovations has been in the works since early September.
O’Brien laid out the proposal to other Seattle councilmembers, creating a timeline to have this renovation done by October of 2020. O’Brien hopes that this will be a great opportunity to bring in a new professional franchise in the NHL, or bring back an NBA team to the Seattle area.
In the proposal, there would be improvements to the Seattle area. The Oak Viewed Group plans on paying $40 million just in improving traffic, transportation and parking.Oak Viewed Group also plans to put forth $20 million to a community fund. They plan on putting half of the $20 million towards youth homelessness, according to the Seattle Times.
The council members are set to vote on this proposal come the beginning of December to discuss the fate of KeyArena. If this proposal is passed, construction could begin as early as October 2018.
This timeline could cause complications with the NCAA, since KeyArena is set to host the opening rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament scheduled to take place in March of 2019. With this conflict, the Oak Viewed Group and the city of Seattle will have to negotiate with the NCAA to move the opening round of the NCAA tournament across the bridge to the University of Washington’s Alaska Airline Arena.
“I think this could be an exciting thing for Seattle,” junior Jaimi Gotro said. Adding this new and improved arena has the potential to bring more variety to the sports community in Seattle. If professional franchises agree to expand the league by bringing a team to Seattle, this would offer different athletic choices to Seattle natives.
No one from the NHL, NBA or Oak Viewed Group has publically announced their promises of bringing forth a new professional team to Seattle. However, minority owner of the NBA team Boston Celtics who has been named equity partner in the renovation has said that he wants to own an NHL franchise team, according to King5 news.
It is uncertain yet if Seattle is acquiring another professional franchise team, but it is certain that renovations will be made to the KeyArena.
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