The Seattle Office of Economic Development issued the following statement regarding a proposal from SODO Arena Group to renovate KeyArena:
In January 2017, the Office of Economic Development issued an RFP soliciting ideas for the future of KeyArena. The City received two strong proposals from Oak View Group and Seattle Partners (AEG), by the deadline. Those proposals were reviewed by City staff, the community and outside experts against the following criteria:
- Provide a world-class civic arena (the “Arena”) to attract and present music, entertainment, and sports events, potentially including NBA and NHL events, to Seattle and the region.
- Provide for Project design and Arena operations in a manner that integrates with and enhances connections to Uptown and adjoining neighborhoods and aligns with the Urban Design
- Provide for design, permitting, development, demolition (if applicable), and construction of the Arena (the “Project”) with minimal City financial participation.
- Provide for the continuous, successful, sustainable operation of the Arena as a world-class civic venue with minimal City financial participation.
- Provide for mitigation of transportation impacts due to Project construction and Arena operations.
- Provide Project construction and Arena operations in a manner that is equitable for workers and consistent with the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.
- Provide for Project design and Arena operational integration with Seattle Center, contributing positively to the vibrancy of Seattle Center.
Oak View Group’s proposal was the strongest of the two, so they were selected. If the SODO Arena Group was interested in redeveloping KeyArena, they should have submitted their proposal during the RFP process, which would have shown a willingness to work with the City on this project. They did not submit a proposal and continue to show no interest in working in partnership with the City.
We are well underway negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oak View Group, and plan to transmit the MOU to Seattle City Council shortly. We are excited about the future of the Seattle Center Arena and grateful private investors are committed to investing more than half a billion dollars in a venue designed to attract the NBA, NHL and outstanding music and entertainment.