While Key Arena and the Seattle Storm gear up to host this year’s WNBA All-Star Game, the future of Key Arena beyond 2017 is starting to look a lot clearer.
Seattle mayor Ed Murray has named the Tim Leiweke-led Oak View Group as the winner in the bidding to renovate Key Arena. Oak View’s plan has an estimated cost of $560 million.
Among the backers of the Oak View effort—Madison Square Garden.
The announcement comes only a few days after it became official that the Storm will remain at Key Arena through the 2028 season. If the Storm’s play on the basketball court is any indication, Seattle is about to be a hotbed of women’s hoops for years to come.
The agreement between Force 10 Hoops, the Storm’s owners, and the city of Seattle calls for a hefty financial penalty of $100,000 annually if the Storm are to be displaced as the Key is being relocated. The proposed renovation is slated to displace the Storm for three years.
Oak View essentially won the bid by default as Anschutz Entertainment Group, the other suitor looking to give Key Arena a makeover, manicure, and pedicure, withdrew its bid around the same time Murray was set to make the announcement on which bid would get the thumbs up from City Hall.
AEG slammed Seattle for “driving toward an unrealistic financing structure” and also hinted it feels Oak View was getting all the calls from the refs at City Hall.
…we believe the city has failed to conduct a sufficiently thorough, objective, and transparent process to properly evaluate the respective strengths and weaknesses of the two proposals.
…city’s decision to withhold critical financial portions of Oak View Group’s proposal from the public while releasing the financial details of our proposal…
Oak View’s financials were released on the heels of AEG walking off the court.
Nevertheless, it appears, for WNBA fans, the Key is about to be renovated indeed into “The House That Stewie Built.”
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