Oak View Group and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray have a formal agreement in place to build a $600 million privately funded arena at the Seattle Center that could host both an NBA and an NHL team, according to King 5’s Chris Daniels.
Construction for the renovation is expected to begin in 2018 and will be ready by 2020, the report says.
A memorandum of understanding was submitted on Tuesday, and OVG co-founder and CEO TIm Leiweke said in a statement that it was the first step of many to bringing an arena to the Seattle Center.
“The completion of the MOU provides a level of certainty that Seattle has never had before, and OVG, the City Council, elected officials and the residents of Seattle, must now turn our attention to the NHL and NBA and make it undeniably clear that we are more than ready for them to come to Seattle,” Leiweke said.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was expected to also release a statement on the submission of the MOU, but he resigned effective at 5 p.m. on Wednesday after allegations of rape from the 1970s surfaced.
“While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our city government to conduct the public’s business,” Murray said in a statement.
OVG has reportedly committed $40 million for transportation mitigation around the Seattle Center and $20 million for a community fund in addition to the $600 million price tag of the arena.
Although Seattle does not currently have an NBA team, the city could be next in line to be awarded one if/when the NBA expands. The construction of a new $600 million arena would seemingly only increase those already strong odds.
Seattle’s KeyArena was home to the NBA’s SuperSonics for 33 years in Seattle before the investment group led by Clay Bennett bought the team in 2006 and moved it to Oklahoma City in 2008.