Salk: Why KeyArena vote passed, bringing NHL Seattle team even closer

Sep 25, 2018, 10:51 AM
KeyArena's approved renovation brings an NHL Seattle team one step closer. (AP)...
KeyArena's approved renovation brings an NHL Seattle team one step closer. (AP)

On Monday, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved the $700 million renovation of KeyArena, one of the biggest steps yet in the city’s push to acquire new winter pro sports franchises. Mike Salk of 710 ESPN Seattle explains below why the vote is a big deal and wouldn’t have been possible without the Oak View Group, which is in charge of the renovation.

I don’t want this city council vote to just get passed over like it was nothing. This was an impossibility a few years ago and OVG and their partners made it a formality.

This was like the second half of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win after Percy Harvin’s kick return for a touchdown. The party is on and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. This is the same body of government that didn’t help the Sonics and said no to Chris Hansen’s SoDo project (specifically the need for a street vacation).

Why did the vote pass now? Well, there are a few reasons.

They want to salvage a costly building. The renovation is being privately financed. The ability to get an NHL team is real. And there was a legitimate lobbying effort with both the council and the community.

OVG did this right from the beginning. And they have three hurdles left:

• 1. Make the hockey team official (and that could happen next week or by the end of the year).
• 2. Build a gem of a building (breaking ground in as little as 60 days).
• 3. Find an NBA team (not entirely up to them).

Then they have to be great owners and operators, and we will have to hold them accountable to that.

NHL Seattle timeline: Seattle’s push for hockey

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Salk: Why KeyArena vote passed, bringing NHL Seattle team even closer