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NHL Seattle gives us glimpse inside KeyArena renovation

As renovations continue at KeyArena to prepare for the eventual arrival of Seattle’s NHL team, the company doing the actual construction provided updates Tuesday on what it has planned.

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“Collectively, we’re all building what we think will be the best arena in the country,” said Oakview Group Construction Executive Ken Johnsen.

In the midst of a renovation process funded by over $800 million in private money, Oakview is currently in the process of gutting the whole building. That process has it removing seats, equipment, ceiling tiles, power lines, and more.

Through all that, the iconic roof will remain, originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle.

“Keeping that roof structure is important to a lot of people,” said Johnsen. “We’re going to keep that roof in place, demo underneath it, and build a brand new arena.”

Johnsen went on to promise an “absolutely state-of-the-art” revamp of KeyArena, from the way things function back-of-house, to updates to food services.

The rebuild will include a 360-foot-long glass atrium, dedicated locker rooms for Seattle’s new NHL team, a potential NBA team, and the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm, 50,000 square feet of storage, and a 750,000 square foot interior. Capacity for hockey games will seat up around 17,400 people, while basketball will house 18,600.

The newly-renovated KeyArena is scheduled to be finished by late-spring 2021, with the first hockey puck scheduled to drop in October later that year.

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