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Hansen proposes KeyArena renovation

Proposed KeyArena renovation

Oak View Group is no longer the only group proposing a renovated KeyArena.

Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Pete and Erik Nordstrom, and Russell Wilson have hired architecture group HOK (the same group that designed Sonics Arena) to renovate the Lower Queen Anne arena into a smaller concert venue.

The plan would create three venues within the space; a 6,200 seat indoor concert venue on one side, a 3,000 seat covered amphitheater on the the other that would flow out to the International Foundation, and a 500 seat theater. This was one of the suggestions posed in the AECOM report.

Unlike the OVG proposal, which proposed digging down 15 extra feet, the Sonics Arena plan would actually raise the floor. This would create more than 500 extra parking stalls below the arena. They believe that making KeyArena into a smaller venue ease the burden of traffic and parking and minimize the negative impacts in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood. It would also ensure that KeyArena stays viable and that Seattle Center would remain a community asset.

The proposed plan would not go into effect until after a SoDo arena is built, leaving the possibility of KeyArena as an interim venue should a team be acquired beforehand. The plan, like the SoDo plan and the OVG plan, would be privately financed at an estimated cost of $90-100 million. The group has pledged to cover all construction costs, including overruns, as well as ongoing capital improvement costs. There would be no public subsidies aside from a ground lease on the arena site. There would also be a short-term waiver of admissions taxes should an NHL or NBA team play there during construction of the SoDo arena.

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