07.17.18 Seattle Arena Update:
Just over a year ago we submitted a revised application for a conditional street vacation of a one block section of Occidental Avenue South in SoDo, where we hope to build a state of the art arena for the Sonics.
A lot has happened since then, so we wanted to update everyone on where things stand.
As you all know, the Oak View Group has an agreement with the City of Seattle to renovate KeyArena as a new home for the NHL, a venue for Live Nation promoted concerts, the Seattle Storm, and possibly even an NBA team. We’re excited for local fans and wish Oak View Group and city leaders the very best.
But our goal to bring the Sonics back to Seattle doesn’t end there.
We believe having two viable arena options would put Seattle in the best possible position to attract an NBA team. And we believe having competitive proposals effectively creates an insurance policy for the City. If, for example, some future NBA ownership group is unable to make KeyArena pencil out, or if renovating KeyArena to meet NBA standards proves difficult, Seattle will still have a path to attract a team if one becomes available.
The last piece required for our project to be shovel-ready is the approval by the Seattle City Council of our revised application to vacate a one block section of Occidental Avenue South in Seattle’s zoned Stadium District.
If the Conditional Street Vacation is approved by Seattle City Council, this one-block section of Occidental Ave S. would be purchased from the City at fair market value and vacated for Arena construction if an NBA team is acquired.
Our proposal fell short of approval in 2016 when the City Council last considered our application. Since then we’ve listened to the concerns of the council members and the community and updated our proposal with several key differences.
On April 6, 2017, the Seattle Design Commission approved the urban design and public benefit of the proposed SoDo Arena and recommended the conditional street vacation be approved by the Seattle City Council.
Occidental Avenue South – Existing conditions
We look forward to making our case to the City Council, and we remain committed to doing everything possible to bring back the Sonics and build an asset that will benefit the region for many years to come.
By approving the conditional street vacation for the SoDo Arena, the City Council can send a strong and clear message to the NBA that our city is ready – and eager – for the return of the Sonics to Seattle.