The City of Seattle in Washington has agreed a deal with the Oak View Group (OVG) to undertake major renovation work at the KeyArena multi-purpose venue.
According to the Associated Press news agency, the redevelopment project will be supported by $600m (€501m/£450.2m) in private funding, and the work may gain approval before the end of the year.
A draft proposal for the project was submitted to Seattle City Council earlier this week and although the final version of the plans will not be voted on until the first week of December, it is hoped that the work could begin in October 2018.
The KeyArena currently serves as the home of both WNBA basketball women’s franchise the Seattle Storm and the Seattle Redhawks, the men’s basketball team of Seattle University.
NBA team the Seattle Supersonics also used to play home games at the venue, but relocated to Oklahoma City ahead of the 2008-09 season.
However, Seattle and OVG believe that once renovation work is complete, the venue could become home to an NBA franchise, as well as an NHL ice hockey team. The two parties hope to have work finished by October 2020.
Tim Leiweke, chief executive of OVG, said: “I think the most important part of this MOU is the fact it states very clearly to the leagues that this project is going to happen, we do have a deal with the city, they can make a deal.
“They are very focused ultimately not only on building a new arena here and giving us the partnership and certainty in order to do that.
“But more importantly it sends a very strong message now to the NBA and to the NHL that everyone worried about, `Yeah will it ever get done with the city? Will they ever be able to get to the finish line? Will you ever possibly get this deal done within the politics of Seattle and the Seattle process as everyone likes to call it?
“Guess what? Game, set and match. We clearly send a message to everyone that this will get done, this will get built and we are ready now to go get one and hopefully soon, two teams.”