Not sure if the SODO area is the best location. Considering that seasons for the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and MLS seasons overlap one another I think it’d be best to have the venues split and simply re-do Key Arena. If not then you have a traffic nightmare in the SODO area throughout the year. If the city reduces the number of police offiers available for these events (which was done a short while ago) that will make things even more problematic. That will demand more roads and more ramps to the highway which of course will be at taxpayer cost. Redo the Key and it’s less cost to taxpayers and it splits traffic as well. This is a great move for the sport busineses (and that’s what they are: a business) but I question if it’s right for Seattle.
Also if Key Arena isn’t used for an NBA/NHL franchise but instead is moved to a new venue by SODO then that’s pretty much the death sentence for Seattle Center which is struggling right now. The NBA left them high and dry for the riches of OKC without a care in the world depiste their history here. I have no interest in building a multi-million dollar arena to put money in the pockets of billionare owners and millionaire players who sometimes haven’t even gone beyond a high school education. I do, however, have interest in the NBA and the NHL being in Seattle. But things need to be for the benefit of the Seattle community. If we learned anything about how the NBA does business, it’s about them. But really, they and the NHL need Seattle more than Seattle needs them.
All in all no matter what happens, taxpayers will spend money on something, whether it’s on a new arena, renovating Key Arena, cost overruns, demolition of the Key, bailing out the Seattle Center because their business is going to SODO or new streets and DOT renovations. Will the NHL and NBA make it worth it?
I agree with Fabian – An arena in SODO is the end for Key Arena and is a huge hit to the Seattle Center.
I say sell the Key Arena property and building to a private group to develop, with VERY favorable terms. The precedent is the Space Needle, which is on private land.
This allows the new owners to redevelop Key in a MUCH more user-friendly location than SODO, even though SODO access is better.
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