Mayor of Seattle Ed Murray has announced Oak View Group as the preferred partner for the redevelopment of the US city’s KeyArena venue.
Oak View Group will now meet with the city to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding.
In a statement, the Office of the Mayor said that the group had made a multi-million pound bid to transform the KeyArena into a “world-class sports and entertainment facility”.
Yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) statement came just days after the Seattle Partners group, which had included sports and entertainment giant AEG, withdrew its own multi-million-pound offer to renovate the arena, citing an “unrealistic financial structure” being driven by the city.
It is hoped the KeyArena will eventually serve as the home of a Seattle-based NHL ice hockey or NBA basketball team. The city has been without an NBA team since the SuperSonics, a former KeyArena tenant, relocated to Oklahoma in 2008 and rebranded itself as the Thunder.
Murray said: “Today is an exciting day for the city, Sonics fans and everyone who looks forward to visiting KeyArena for hundreds of events each year. KeyArena is one of our city’s great landmarks, and we will now work with OVG to get the best deal for Seattle – one that embraces the surrounding community, helps lay the foundation for the future of Seattle, and brings the Sonics home and the NHL to Seattle.
“I want to thank Oak View Group and Seattle Partners for working with the City of Seattle on the future of KeyArena and their interest in investing in the city.”
Oak View Group intends on redeveloping the arena’s interior and increasing its total size up to 660,000 square feet. The existing roofline of the venue will also be preserved.
Once terms on a MOU are agreed, the Seattle City Council will vote on the matter. A vote will take place before the end of the year.