What happens next for KeyArena?

Yesterday, the City of Seattle received two strong proposals to redevelop KeyArena at Seattle Center. Oak View Group and Seattle Partners (AEG and Hudson Pacific Properties) both submitted their plans to turn the Arena into a world-class facility that would be able to host NBA and NHL teams and the best music entertainment.

Oak View Group rendering

Seattle Partners Rendering

Now that the proposals are in City hands we’re digging through hundreds of pages and unpacking the details of each proposal. We’re comparing the proposals with the objectives contained in the RFP:

  • Provide a world-class civic arena (the “Arena”) to attract and present music, entertainment, and sports events, potentially including NBA and NHL events, to Seattle and the region.
  • Provide for Project design and Arena operations in a manner that integrates with and enhances connections to Uptown and adjoining neighborhoods and aligns with the Urban Design
  • Provide for design, permitting, development, demolition (if applicable), and construction of the Arena (the “Project”) with minimal City financial participation.
  • Provide for the continuous, successful, sustainable operation of the Arena as a world-class civic venue with minimal City financial participation.
  • Provide for mitigation of transportation impacts due to Project construction and Arena operations.
  • Provide Project construction and Arena operations in a manner that is equitable for workers and consistent with the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.
  • Provide for Project design and Arena operational integration with Seattle Center, contributing positively to the vibrancy of Seattle Center.

As City staff examines the proposals, we are also working with experts in arena design and law to review the proposals.

We are seeking counsel from an Arena Community Advisory Panel, who will review the proposals, and have the opportunity to meet with both teams to ask questions.  Once they complete their review, they will share their thoughts about both proposals with the Mayor.

Transportation is an issue the City is carefully considering. Both proposers made suggestions about how to move thousands of people to and from the Arena. City staff are also taking a close look at projects already in the pipeline and future improvements that would enhance transportation in that corridor.

The proposers are also looking forward to talking with you. There will be an open house May 11 from 5 – 8 PM at KEXP for you to come meet with the proposers, review their plans and ask questions.

Once all the analysis is completed, the City’s Executive Review Team and the Arena Community Advisory Panel will advise the mayor, and the mayor will make the final decision. The Executive Review Team will make a recommendation to the mayor by June. If the mayor chooses to go forward with one of the proposals, the City Council would vote on a development and lease agreement negotiated by the City with the winning bidder.

KeyArena RFP City decision process

The City will eventually release the proposals to the public, but for now, you can check out the executive summaries provided by the two bidders.

As this process unfolds, keep in mind, the City remains committed to our primary goal: we want to bring the Sonics and the NHL to Seattle.