The Key Arena has served Seattle well for half a century, but by modern professional sports standards the facility falls short, particularly in the ability to generate revenue. Part of bringing an NBA team to Seattle (and hopefully an NHL team as well someday) requires something to replace this storied facility.
For Seattle's Chris Hansen, it isn't enough just to put up a cookie cutter box to house sporting events and other various large group gatherings. Doing just enough to get by doesn't ever seem to have entered into the equation. On March 29th via SonicsArena.com Hansen rolled out his most detailed plans yet for what the new Seattle Arena may look like.
The key element from these new plans are the Sonic Rings. The intent of these rings is for:
- Improved Viewing Angles: The creation of the Sonic Rings and resulting ability to significantly increase steepness of the lower bowl, results in MARKEDLY improved sight lines for all seating categories
- Reduced stratification between seating levels: Creating a more vibrant, festive, and social experience in the upper levels and giving typically premium seating amenities to all of our fans
- Significant Flex Capacity: In addition to seating for over 2,000 patrons, the design of the Sonic Rings allows for significant incremental standing room capacity so we can "flex up" for the big game or "flex down" for more intimate events
- Increased Intimacy, Energy... and Noise: We believe that pushing the entirety of the seating bowl closer to the court and having 2,000-4,000 fans literally overhanging the game not only creates the most intimate venue in the NBA, but will also provide you with the opportunity to create the loudest, most energetic atmosphere in yet another pro sport—or better yet two!
- More Cost Effective and Sustainable Building: This introduction of the Sonic Rings and resulting compression of the seating bowl significantly reduces the roof spans — which makes for a more cost-effective and sustainable building
The proposed new arena would be one of the largest commitments of private capital ever made for a project like this in North America. It has been estimated that arena construction and development will create 2,000 high-wage construction jobs and hundreds of full and part-time jobs to operate the Arena. The surrounding region will additionally benefit in many other ways from taxes (Hotel, Rental Car, etc) to patrons spending money in surrounding business before and after events.
The arena as proposed would be a fantastic venue not only for NBA and NHL sporting events, but would be great for things like NCAA basketball tournaments, and other large regional events that need to be hosted in an indoor space. The sight lines should make it an exceptional arena concert venue as well.