Today, Mayor Ed Murray announced the City of Seattle will issue a request for proposals (RFP) in early January, 2017, to solicit specific plans from private parties interested in the redevelopment of KeyArena. Proposals would be centered around developing an entertainment facility that can host meetings, concerts and sporting events.
The City is seeking partners who are willing to invest in a facility that will provide a better home for KeyArena’s existing tenants, including the Seattle Storm of the WNBA and the Seattle University basketball program. Two entities, AEG and The Oak View Group, have reached out to the City indicating that they are potentially interested in an agreement with the City on such a project, and the RFP process may reveal others are as well.
“We continue to listen to options to redevelop KeyArena as part of our revitalization of Seattle Center,” said Mayor Murray. “There are many challenges to consider, including how to address traffic in the growing Uptown neighborhood, and any viable plan will include efforts to mitigate these concerns, while also bringing Seattle tremendous cultural and financial benefit. But, I remain committed to building a state-of-the-art arena in Seattle, and this effort means multiple entities could be working to make that a reality. I also remain committed to bringing the NBA back to Seattle.”
A study completed for the City by AECOM has demonstrated that an extensive renovation of KeyArena could provide a venue that would serve the needs of multiple tenants, fans, and the surrounding neighborhood.
Assuming an agreement can be reached, Council approval would be required and the project would be subject to an extensive review process, including an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and the associated assessment of traffic impacts. Potential KeyArena redevelopment would further energize and activate Seattle Center, after work with the Uptown neighborhood to develop a plan that can further enliven the neighborhood without creating undue impacts.
These proposals would join the recently-revised proposal from the group led by Chris Hansen as possibilities for the development of an arena in Seattle.