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Work continues on Seattle arena despite COVID-19

Work on a new NHL arena in the US city of Seattle is progressing despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

NHL Seattle is due to commence play in 2021 at the new arena that will anchor a project to transform the city’s old KeyArena. The development is being led by Oak View Group.

The removal of the temporary roof support has now started and, once finished, the new roof will appear as though it is floating. On the north and west sides of the complex, foundation excavation, new foundation placement, waterproofing and shotcrete work is continuing during daytime hours only.

On the south side, lagging, tieback, foundation placement and excavation work is also going ahead. On the east side, construction work including waterproofing, shotcrete, foundation excavation and new foundation placement continues.

The roof of the former KeyArena has been designated as a historic landmark, having been a part of the Seattle skyline since the facility opened in 1962. Given its status, it was decided that the roof would remain in place during the revamp.

It is hoped the new arena in Seattle will open in the summer of 2021 ahead of the team’s entry into NHL later that year. The team will also serve as the home of the Seattle Storm WNBA basketball franchise.

The arena is one of a number of major venue construction projects that has been able to continue despite COVID-19. Work on Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, which will serve as the home of the NFL’s Raiders, is still going ahead, while SoFi Stadium, the new home of the NFL’s Rams and Chargers in Inglewood, is also continuing.

COVID-19 has however forced the New York Islanders NHL team to pause work on its new arena. The Islanders are currently building a new 19,000-seat arena as part of the $1.3bn (£1.1bn/€1.2bn) Belmont Park redevelopment project and the team broke ground on the facility in September.

Image: NHL Seattle