Oak View Group: six companies inquiring about Key Arena naming rights

Photo Credit: Populous/Oak View Group

When the New Arena at Seattle Center is constructed, and replaces KeyArena in 2020, the new stadium that will play host to Seattle Storm basketball of course, will not be called KeyArena.

Who knows what it shall be called, but Tim Leiweke, who heads the Oak View Group as its CEO, said, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal that at least six companies have talked about arena naming rights with him.

This is the first time in my career that I am being chased.

–Tim Leiweke, Oak View CEO

It does not shock us that companies are interested. What shocks us is the sheer magnitude of the companies.

He would not say if any multinational companies with their headquarters in the Seattle area, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, or Starbucks were among those looking to attach their brand and name to the new venue. Leiweke also said a naming rights agreement has yet to be signed.

Interestingly enough, many in and around the Seattle area have noted that KeyBank, which is headquartered in Cleveland, has not paid the City of Seattle – which owns KeyArena – the naming rights to said stadium since 2011. KeyCorp’s contract for the naming rights to the venue expired at the end of 2011 and said rights were supposed to be up for grabs, but Seattle Center officials were having a hard time in their find for a new sponsor.

The news comes on the heels of Oak View releasing updated renderings for how the new arena will look after the renovation is complete in 2020 – including a large glass atrium at the Key’s south entrance. Said renovation is slated to start sometime this fall after the conclusion of the 2018 WNBA season.

The news also comes amidst interviews being conducted by David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, the prospective NHL team owners, along with Oak View’s Leiweke indicating that they will go after an NBA franchise after the conclusion of the NHL process.

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