Renderings via Oak View Group
Back in December Seattle City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with Oak View Group to proceed with plans for a renovation of KeyArena. The $600-million renovation is will elevate the venue to modern NBA and NHL standards and
This week OVG and architectural firm, Populous, unveiled revised plans for the renovation of the 55-year-old arena. Public feedback prompted significant changes, especially those regarding vehicle and foot traffic. In total, the project will nearly double the current size of the arena to 680,000 square feet while preserving the building’s landmarked roof.
The current east and west main entrances will be gone as the new design aims to direct people to the other side of Seattle Center with a new glass atrium. The atrium will extend out from the south side of the arena where there is currently a loading dock and parking. Designs also show a pedestrian plaza on KeyArena’s southwest corner which could be used year round.
Inside, the arena will become a four-tiered bowl instead of its current two. The upper deck will feature the Space Needle Club that includes views of the landmark in addition to the arena’s ongoing event. The lower bowl will include regular seats as well as “ice level suites,” similar to Safeco Field’s Diamond Club.
The Suite Level will be located just above the lower bowl and feature “opera boxes” on the south end and club seating to the north. The third level will be the plaza level, which is where most people will enter. The fourth level will include spots for 300 spectators and the press box. The changes will allow for 17,000 seats under its hockey configuration, equivalent to the current capacity for basketball.
Due to the ceiling’s protected status, there will be an “acoustical cloud” that will be draped for concerts to enhance audio quality for concerts. The arena will also have a first-of-its-kind dual scoreboard system. The building will also include NHL locker rooms, in addition to locker rooms for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, and a possible future NBA franchise.
The NHL Seattle season ticket drive begins today (March 1). OVG is asking for a $500 deposit per seat, and $1,000 per each club seat. If the NHL approves Seattle’s application, a Seattle NHL expansion franchise could begin play as early as 2020.
OVG still needs to complete their environmental review and have final documents approved by the City. Should everything go according to schedule, demolition could begin in November.