Demolition of KeyArena won’t begin until after Seattle secures NHL team
Local hockey fans seem perpetually caught between wanting Seattle to land a hockey team tomorrow, and knowing this city has an endless supply of hurdles delaying it. And so it’s not entirely surprising to learn from KING-5 that the city won’t allow KeyArena demolition to begin until December, when the NHL is expected to officially award Seattle a team.
City of Seattle Planning Director Marshall Foster spoke to KIRO Radio about what the city is demanding from the Oak View Group.
“Among other things that are required of them before they can start demolition of KeyArena is they do need to essentially have a franchise established for Seattle with the NHL,” he said. “We don’t want to end up with an arena that’s partially demolished without the means to complete it.”
While it appears that this is yet another delay, documents show that pushing the demolition until December won’t necessarily alter completion by the October 2020 target, reports The Seattle Times.
Though the arena won’t be delayed, the team’s arrival might
What might be delayed is the arrival of the team. For the NHL’s part, they’re waiting on the Seattle City Council vote later this month, as well as any last minute appeals that could delay the project. This is partially why there have been hints from local officials — as well as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman — that Seattle’s hockey team may not start play until 2021, in which case other events will be scheduled instead of NHL games until the team arrives.
Both sides appear to be taking all precautions in the wake of past arena deals that fell through in SoDo, Tukwila, and Bellevue. OVG will make a final presentation to the NHL league owners on October 2, and the NHL is expected to hold an official vote by early December.
At that point, those who purchased upwards of 33,000 season-ticket deposits will know when exactly they’ll be able to see some NHL hockey.