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Seattle Center Arena to be finalized in September in time for official NHL expansion award

Updated timeline to be presented to Seattle City Council on Monday

Updated (4/28/18 1:16 pm PDT): The presentation deck for Monday’s council meeting is now available online. Relevant information has been updated in the article below.

The new Seattle Center Arena is on track to be finalized in September, reports of an updated timeline state. This will be in time for the expected official award of an expansion franchise to Seattle by the National Hockey League.

Our old friend Chris Daniels of KING5-TV has the news of the new updated timeline that will be presented to the Seattle City Council on Monday, April 30th. The timeline will be presented by Seattle Center director Robert Nellams and other staff members. It’s expected to include information about the buildings, businesses, and area surrounding the arena site.

Some notable milestones for the city council’s Select Committee on Civic Arenas presented in the update timeline:

  • May 10 - Review of transportation/mobility plans; arena design; draft EIS; building and land permitting; Community Benefits Agreement; plans for existing tenants; and arts proposals.
  • July 26 - Full presentation of transaction documents made to the committee, including development agreement, lease agreement, and Seattle Center integration agreement. Also review of study on Seattle Center Monorail role in transportation plans and Controls & Incentives Agreement for the historical landmark process.
  • August 10 - Review of all amendments to transaction documents and transportation/mobility plans; project financial framework; and tenants plans, labor agreements, community benefits, and parking.
  • September 14 - Final review on financial framework, transaction documents, and transportation/mobility plans. Vote to move out of committee and back to full council for consideration.

If the committee votes to move the project back to the full council, as expected, the earliest the council could vote on final approval of the project would be Monday, September 17th.

A draft version of the Environment Impact Statement for the arena project was made available to the public last week. The public can comment on the document until June 7th. A public hearing will be held in Loft 2 of the Seattle Center Armory on May 14th from 6-9 pm as part of that commentary process. The Final EIS is scheduled to be complete by August 31st.

The NHL is expected to grant a conditional approval on expansion to Seattle in June following the end of the current season. Full approval is eyed for September and is speculated to be awaiting definitive action on the new arena.

If given the greenlight, arena investors Oak View Group plan to begin demolition of the existing arena interior in October. A two-year construction project is planned with the goal of opening the new arena in October 2020.

This article was updated on 4/28/18 to include information about project transaction documents and planned agendas for each milestone date.