The city may have accepted a deal to revamp its KeyArena for professional hockey and basketball, but Mayor Jenny Durkan says that shouldn’t hamper efforts for a second arena in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood.
The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Mayor Durkan said that there is nothing preventing a second Seattle arena effort, helmed by investor Chris Hansen and his group, from moving forward.
Durkan told the Business Journal:
I think that reading the political tea leaves it’s a long shot, but two arenas is not foreclosed. They can move forward.
Durkan signed an agreement in December allowing the Oak View Group to double the size of the KeyArena. But she told the Business Journal that Hansen’s arena effort to lure a new NBA team is not halted by that deal. So far, the KeyArena agreement is likely to bring an NHL team to town and is hoped to attract an NBA team as well.
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Durkan’s sentiment echoes that of Hansen’s efforts. Following the city’s announcement that it’s working with the Oak View Group, Hansen’s Sonics Arena blog stated that they still believe their 100 percent privately-funded arena has the best chance at attracting new sports teams to Seattle. The blog stated:
Today we remain steadfast in our goal to have the NBA once again playing in Seattle, so we will keep the land we own in Seattle’s Stadium District until that commitment has been made.
Having two viable arena options puts Seattle in the best position to attract an NBA team. If some future NBA ownership group is unable to reach a competitive deal at Seattle Center, having an alternative is vital for the City and Sonics fans.
Before the Oak View Group deal, Hansen’s group offered to redevelop KeyArena as part of its own arena plan.