Back in June, a group originally led by Jerry Bruckheimer announced plans to renovate to renovate Seattle’s KeyArena. Don’t worry, it’s still going to happen, but now there’s a bit of a fight as to the shape the renovation plan will take. In late October, everyone from Macklemore to Sir Mix-A-Lot to Duff McKagan (from Guns N’ Roses) signed a letter to Seattle mayor Tim Burgess and city council members asking them to reconsider who will be doing the renovations.
The alternate proposal is to consider turning the arena into three mid-sized music venues instead of maintaining the current setup as a massive stadium. The proposal is to fill a perceived gap in the city’s music venue market. There are venues for shows under 2,500 fans, there’s already a proposed 16,000-21,000 seat SoDo arena, but there are few options in the middle. The 3,000-6,000 fan range. The artists would love to see that and believe it’s the sweet spot for live performances since the money has moved a bit away from recorded music.
The artists think that the investment team of Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Erik Nordstrom, Pete Nordstrom, and Russell Wilson would create something better for the location. According to King5 News, the space would include three venues: a 6,200 seat indoor concert space, a 3,000 seat amphitheater, and a 500 seat theater.
However, after the above-mentioned letter was received, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding agreement with Oak View Group to move forward. This agreement includes $600 million for KeyArena, $40 million for transportation fund, and another $20 million for non-profit entities.
The final approval for the project will come with a full city council vote in December, and the letter from artists may just be too little, too late.
If the Oak View Group wins, the KeyArena renovation would be planned to be completed in 2020 and it would include the hopes of bringing the venue to modern NBA and NHL standards (and would end the aforementioned proposed SoDo arena).
What side of the battle do you stand on? Would you rather have multiple smaller venues and more artists coming through or one massive venue and the possibility of sports teams?
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