You won’t believe what KeyArena looks like right now
The facelift for Seattle’s KeyArena has been steadily underway for months. Now, it’s getting a roof lift.
“If you did a 360 around me, the amount of heavy equipment that is pumping concrete, excavating soil, putting up the temporary roof support, we have 120 people on site,” said Ken Johnson, a construction executive with the Oak View Group. “This project is going really well right now.”
Johnson spoke in a promotional video posted to NHL Seattle’s social media accounts. It provides an update on the KeyArena renovation project.
Looking at the site, KeyArena is barely recognizable. In fact, it’s not there anymore. The unique roof hovers above a giant pit of soil and not much else. It took about six months; now there are no more seats and the court is long gone. There’s just a hole in the ground going five-stories deep. NHL Seattle notes that nothing remains from the original 1962 World’s Fair arena, nor the 1995 remodel.
The roof remains, however. Crews recently installed a series of 70 temporary support beams to hold up the 44 million pound roof. The arena’s Y columns at the edge of the roof are still attached — they just aren’t attached to the ground. They will remain hanging for months while crews continue their work below.
When the gap between our arena’s iconic 44-million lb roof & the ground is big enough to stand under. 🤯🤯🤯
— NHL Seattle (@NHLSeattle_) September 17, 2019
Under the old columns are giant concrete and steel rebar blocks. Crews are currently attempting to demolish and remove each block. There is more rebar material than expected, however. More concrete is present, too, than what is recorded in the original 1962 plans for the arena.
“We are well on our way to building what will be the best arena in the country,” Johnson said in the video.
NHL Seattle says that subterranean construction will begin in 2020.