Seattle's City Council approves $660M plans to renovate KeyArena
What's the story?
On Monday, the Seattle City Council voted 7-1 to approve the $660 million plans to renovate the KeyArena. Following the positive development, the city is close to regaining an NBA franchise and potentially landing an NHL franchise as well.
Mayor Jenny Durkan said, "I've said consistently that I’m committed to bring back our Sonics, recruit an NHL team, and invest in our city."
In case you didn't know...
The Seattle Supersonics franchise began in 1967 and has one NBA Championship from 1979. Some of the biggest stars in Supersonic history include Lenny Wilkins, Jack Sickma, Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp.
The final season in Seattle was a forgettable one as they went 20-62 in Kevin Durant's rookie season. The franchise relocated to Oklahoma City and became known as the Thunder in 2008. They achieved modest success during that time.
The heart of the matter
The proposal, which is set to cost around $660 million, is funded privately by the Oak View Group. In a statement, CEO Tim Leiweke affirmed, "We feel extremely good about the partnership between the City of Seattle and OVG and respect and applaud the City in its ability to be thoughtful, collaborative, and deal focused throughout this process while maintaining the best interest of its citizens."
The initial belief is this deal is to bring an NHL franchise to the city. However, the proposal may also open the door for NBA to return to the city over ten years after the Supersonics left town. The arena currently is home to the WNBA's Seattle Storm and Seattle University Redhawks.
The expectation is that the project will be finished sometime in the year 2020. But announcements regarding NHL and NBA are likely to come out much before.
There is so much history that goes with the Supersonics. It is possible for the city to come out in full force and support the franchise if a NBA franchise is granted to the city once again.