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Seattle Center Arena draft EIS and online open house now available

Aerial view of the arena from the west
Aerial view of the arena from the west
Oak View Group/Populous

Yesterday, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development released the draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the Oak View Group’s planned renovation of KeyArena. We will have more updates as we dig deeper into the 600+ page document, but here are some key points we’ve already learned;

  • The square footage will be 750,000 square feet. This is an increase from the initial plan, which showed 660,000, and nearly double the current square footage, which is 386,000.
  • The seating capacity for basketball has remained the same at 18,350, but the hockey capacity has gone from 17,100 to 17,500. The concert capacity would be 19,125.
  • The cupola (the part of the roof where the KeyArena signs currently sit) would be replaced with larger (approximately 700 square feet each) and brighter signs (assumedly with the arena’s new, yet-to-be-determined name).
  • Thomas Street may be turned into a “woonerf.” I learned this, and what a woonerf is - which is essentially a mixed-use street for pedestrians and cars to share.
  • The plan would be for 242 to 257 events a year, more than double the arena’s current 102.

You can read the entire document for yourself in two parts, HERE and HERE.

OVG has also opened an “online open house,” where fans can make comments about the EIS before a public hearing on May 14. You can find that by going to

That public hearing will take place from 6 to 9 pm at the Armory Loft 2 at Seattle Center (305 Harrison Street, Seattle WA 98107).

Keep an eye on Sonics Rising for more info from the EIS as we discover it.